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In Kindergarten, play is the best way to learn. Making up a story, working a puppet, skipping rope or playing grocer are all opportunities for children to discover new realities, to experiment with strategies and to learn to apply rules. They will enjoy doing this while learning through play. For example, when your child stacks wooden blocks to build a house, he or she is encouraged to explain the process and strategies used and thus, to recognize and put names to what is being learned. In the same way, through various stimulating situations, your child will develop the attitudes required for cooperation, taking responsibility and developing creativity. This approach will enable your child to expand his or her experiences and gradually prepare him or her for entering elementary school.
The Quebec Preschool Education Program
- Preschool Education. Produced by MELS & F.C.P.P.Q. 2009
This brochure will help you learn about the environment in which your child will learn, develop and gradually increase his or her knowledge. We urge you to read it carefully and to remember that school is there to support your child and to provide him or her with everything necesary to succeed.
English or français
- The mandate of Preschool Education
Preschool education has a threefold mandate: to serve as a rite of passage that gives children a liking for school; to foster children’s overall development by motivating them to exploit their full potential; and to lay the social and cognitive groundwork that will prepare children for their future schooling and enable them to continue to learn throughout their lives. (Complete mandate on P.52)
- Preschool Education Programme
A short 18 page document (296 K) that sets the tone, gives the mandate, describes the competencies, cultural references and essential knowledges of the Preschool Education program which is distinct from the Elementary curriculum.
Preparing your child for Preschool
- School Transition Starting on the right foot
The Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development identifies and summarizes the best scientific work on the social and emotional development of young children. In this 4 page leaflet it looks at what we know and then lists practical suggestions for parents to help their child adapt to the school environment.
Einstein said: "Play is the highest form of research".
Young children do not learn by filling in worksheets. They learn through purposeful, intentional play. Play and playfulness help to make us the most complex and successful primates on the planet. (Click on image to view large version)
»» See what educators mean by "play"
- Supporting Your Child Through Play: Everyday Games for Parents and Caregivers (532 KB)
- Video: The Importance of Play
Look at what children learn through play and see how you can join in to enrich the experience.
- The Role of Play in the Overly-Academic Classroom
A video from the Gesell Institute which looks at the impact banishing play from kindergarten classrooms has on the nation's youth. Although it addresses the US situation, play-based learning in kindergarten is also under assault here. Narrated by Marcy Guddemi, Executive Director of the Gesell Institute.
»» View the video on YouTube
»» Listen to the Netcast audio file
- In Defense of Play-Based Education: the reassuring truth about three-year-old academics.
Worried parents might think their preschool age child should come home with worksheets, not mixed-media art work. This article describes how preschool teachers encourage pre-literacy and math skills in all kinds of creative ways and with guided interactions.
- The Hurried Child: A CBC Podcast from Ideas
Studies over the decades claim that baby’s brain is a vast resource that can be enriched through stimulation. So a young child can learn colours, count and even read earlier than ever before. The explosive growth of baby learning products has sent parents scrambling to ensure their baby is as bright as bright can be. So, are the scientific studies behind this social force real or exaggerated? In this series, IDEAS producer Mary O’Connell explores what some are calling a brave new age of infant determinism.
Today, parents and their young children are being tossed about in the perfect storm: Brain science claims, economic anxiety, and a billion dollar toy industry that’s pressuring parents to expose their young children to early academics. Especially when it comes to reading. In the second hour of The Hurried Infant, IDEAS producer Mary O’Connell sat down to discuss what some are calling the re-invention of childhood itself with two leading child advocates and researchers, neuroscientist Maryanne Wolfe and psychologist Kathy Hirsh-Pasek.
Parent and child
- Help your child learn to read with ABRACADABRA
ABRA is a free, interactive web-based literacy program developed by the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance (CSLP). It is designed for early elementary school-aged students, their educators, teachers and parents. The first levels of ABRACADABRA are appropriate for Kindergarten children and can be used in conjunction with a teacher's other approaches to literacy development. Currently ABRA contains 32 alphabetic, fluency, comprehension and writing activities linked to 17 interactive stories and stories written by school children.
Create Works of Art with LopArt
Children should have a vast repertoire of experience with a variety of creative media tools: crayons, finger paint, pencils, paint and markers, used on an easel, on a table, on the floor. All this is part of their motor development and it's just plain fun. Computer art, then, should not be shunned. Lopart offers exceptional, yet simple and intuitive drawing/painting tools in a non-verbal graphic environment. It's a great, inexpensive gift and children "get it" once you show them the basics.
The children’s art work can be posted in an on-line Art Gallery. It also offers a “Postcard” feature so that they can send their art work to friends and family.
- Record and Listen
An on-line recording tool offered by the RECIT du Domaine des langues where children can listen to songs and record themselves singing well known nursery rhymes along with the music. They can listen to their recordings, erase or record again until they are satisfied. The recording function can be used with or without the available music. The recording can be saved as a .wav file that can be downloaded to be listened to from the computer. Lots of creative uses possible. For example, record a message for friends and family and send by email.