Posts tagged with "best preschools in Jacksonville FL"

What Makes a Reggio Emilia Preschool?

Young child playing with blocks in a preschool classroomWhen searching for a preschool for your child, it is essential to find the best school for your educational and personal beliefs. When it comes to Reggio Emilia-inspired schools, Bartram Academy is the leading pre-K and childcare center in the St. Johns area. Our founders and staff all adhere to the Reggio Emilia method of education and strive to prepare your child for elementary and beyond in the best way possible.

Reggio Emilia schools are defined by their project-based curriculum that focuses primarily on the interests of individual students. Children enrolled in the preschool or childcare programs are encouraged to play and explore in any way that they see fit. Self-expression is an essential component of the curriculum and children will express themselves through a variety of artistic methods, including drawing, music, dancing, and painting.

At Bartram Academy, we are dedicated to helping your child grow in confidence and learn how to live a sustainable life. Though the many projects we offer, they will learn how to cooperate, problem-solve, and resolve conflicts with other students. We invest tenfold in the education of our students and teachers to provide the best experience possible at our school.

When you are searching for the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, Bartram Academy has the staff and curriculum necessary to prepare your child for school and life. Contact us today at (904) 419-7563 to learn about our enrollment options.

What is the Difference between the Reggio and Montessori Methods?

Child drawingThough similar, Montessori and Reggio schools follow different educational methods, which can cater to different interests and ideals. When you are looking to enroll your child in one of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, you want to ensure you are choosing a school that fits their needs. Below are the differences between the Montessori and Reggio Emilia methods.

One of the main differences between the two is the sense of community. In a Reggio school, children, parents, and their teachers are considered partners in learning. Communications between all parties and documentation of a child’s education is a significant part of the Reggio method’s philosophy. In Montessori schools, there is a pre-determined curriculum for students, and there are certain expectations on how they should respond.

Another difference is the level of involvement teachers have with their students. In Reggio schools, teachers are viewed as partners in learning and engage in different styles and methods children choose to learn from. Teachers at Montessori schools observe the children as they learn without interfering. This helps a child learn more independently and grow as they learn and develop.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in a Reggio-inspired preschool, Bartram Academy offers an exceptional program for students in the Jacksonville area. Contact our school today at (904) 419-7563 to discuss enrollment.

Fun Summer Activities to Plan with your Child

Child riding a bicycleWith school almost out for the season, many kids are spending their last few days dreaming up all of the fun they will have once summer officially starts. As a parent, you want to ensure your child has time to relax, but it is also crucial to continue educating their young mind. Fortunately, there are a variety of summer activities that are both enjoyable and educational for children.

  • Ride a bike: Riding a bike is a great way to get outdoors, get active, and learn a new skill. Whether your child already has their “big kid” bike or are just starting out, going for regular bike rides will help them develop their motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
  • Blow bubbles: It may sound simple, but blowing bubbles can be a tricky skill for children under three. Offer your child a variety of wands to experiment with, and you can even work together to develop a homemade bubble solution to use.
  • Sidewalk chalk: Make the outdoors your child’s canvas by providing a variety of sidewalk chalk. Let them draw whatever they desire on the driveway, whether it’s a hopscotch board, their pets, or a full scene that tells a story.
  • Reading: Reading is one of the most important skills your child will learn. Take the time during the summer to help them develop these skills in a way that is fun for them. Have them pick out a book to read together every day and encourage them to try and read on their own as well.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in one of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, contact Bartram Academy today. We specialize in the Reggio Emilia model and are always working to provide fun and educational activities to children.

5 Benefits of Inquiry-Based Learning

Young girl reading a book at preschoolInquiry-based learning is an open-ended approach to education. The students primarily guide this approach through their questions, research, and overall curiosity. At Bartram Academy, we are committed to allowing children to find their path when it comes to learning and to investigate, question, and be curious about anything and everything that interests them. Below are five benefits of inquiry-based learning for preschool children.

  1. It nurtures passions and talents. When children are passionately engaged in learning, they become empowered and will feel more in control of the information they take in. Being actively involved allows them to grow more focused on the subject and develop a strong connection with what they enjoy.
  2. It increases their motivation and engagement. By being engaged in their learning, children are more likely to be more motivated to continue learning new information and skills.
  3. It allows them to develop research skills. Research skills are something your child will need all throughout their life, and developing them early in an engaging way will enable them to enjoy the research aspect of learning both in school and on their own.
  4. It fortifies the importance of asking questions. Good questions can open their minds and help develop children into creative thinkers. When children are encouraged to ask questions, it opens them up to a deeper understanding of their interests and the confidence to continue researching them.
  5. It allows children to take ownership of their education. Allowing children to think for themselves will benefit them all throughout their life. As one of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, we encourage all of our students to find their path towards learning and creating.

Using Mirrors for Reggio-Inspired Activities

Colored pencils reflected in a mirrorWhen looking to incorporate Reggio-inspired activities into your home, stocking up on a variety of different materials is essential. One fantastic material to use in your child’s at-home activities is mirrors. You can find mirrors in different shapes and sizes that can help inspire their creativity in many various projects. Whether they are using the mirror as a work surface or a canvas for painting, they can add an extra element to your child’s creative play time.

As with everything Reggio, they need to have a purpose in your child’s daily activities. Pay attention to how your children currently interact with mirrors in your home and encourage them to use them in different ways.  By placing a few in the play area, they may be more inclined to see how different objects appear when reflected and may even utilize them as a whole other dimension to their art projects.

Mirrors are an excellent inquiry tool for preschool age students, as they can help them see things in an entirely different way. If you are interested in seeing how your child reacts to these materials, try putting one underneath or behind the next activity you do with them at home. Be sure to let them discover the mirror on their own and do not explicitly direct their attention to it.

Bartram Academy is one of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, that teaches based on the Reggio Emilia method. If you are interested in enrolling your child, contact us today at (904) 419-7563.

Art Explorations for Preschool Students

Colorful stack of Playdough shapesOne way to artistically engage your preschooler is to allow them to explore a variety of different mediums. From paints to colored paper, there are so many ways for a child to express their creativity. At Bartram Academy, we encourage all of our students to delve into their artistic nature, making us one of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL that practice the Reggio Emilia approach.

Below are just some of the various materials your child can use to create with.

Clay and Playdough: These materials are excellent because they allow your child to mold their shapes. Their imaginations can run wild while they create figures, buildings, and everything else they can conjure up.

Chalk: Whether you have a large blackboard for your child to draw on or let them have free range of the driveway (supervised, of course), chalk can be an excellent material for your child to use. It easily wipes and washes away, so as a parent, you will not have to worry too much about the mess.

Watercolors: Acrylic paints are great for bright, bold expression. Watercolors, however, provide an extra element to painting and require your child to think about color blending and painting in an entirely different way.

Physical and Mental Development at Bartram Academy

Boy playing on playground slideAt Bartram Academy, our goal is to provide a variety of enrichment activities for children attending our preschool. Physical activity is one of the most critical aspects of a child’s development. Often, children are stuck sitting in classrooms for long periods of time, becoming fidgety and unable to focus on the task at hand. When working with younger children, our staff incorporates exercise into as many activities as possible to help keep their energy managed and mind engaged.

We offer a variety of activities that promote physical and mental development in children. We have a certified children’s yoga instructor to guide children ages 3 and up through simple poses and breathing exercises. We also offer Zumba lessons for kids ages 2 and under to help them get up and moving to fun, upbeat music. Our most exciting physical activity is the My Gym Children’s Fitness Center classes, full of obstacle courses, tumbling, and variety of other kid-friendly exercises.

Not only do all of these activities help children use up their energy and remain focused throughout the day, but it also promotes mental development. Yoga classes give children an opportunity to learn essential breathing exercises and mindfulness. Working together in an obstacle course encourages the growth of social skills, confidence, and teamwork.

If you are interested in learning why Bartram Academy is one of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, give us a call today at (904) 419-7563. We will provide additional details on all of the Reggio Emilia inspired activities that we offer for preschool-aged children.

The Perfect Back-to-School Snacks for Your Children

Close-up of mixed fruit saladWith the kids back in school, parents are shopping for supplies, making after-school sitting arrangements, and planning out lunches for the weekdays. Many parents stress over the quality of food that their child eats and are wary of the overly processed and sugary options available to them. Below are three healthy back-to-school snacks that are both satisfying and sustainable to send with your child every morning.

Trail Mix: If your child does not have any major food allergies, putting together your trail mix can create a healthy snack the entire family can enjoy. Rather than purchasing pre-packaged bags full of highly salted nuts and sugary candy, you can put together your own full of your child’s favorite ingredients. Mix in natural almonds, coconut shavings, and dried fruit to create a truly enjoyable blend. You can even add some extra fun to it by incorporating popcorn, pretzels, or cereal.

Healthier Baked Goods: Sending your child to school with a muffin may seem like an unhealthy option, but homemade baked goods can be a great way to sneak healthier foods into your child’s diet. By making them yourself, you have complete control over what ingredients (and how much) are used and your child would never tell the difference. By baking a batch of healthy banana bread or zucchini muffins, you’ll be creating at least a week’s worth of healthy breakfast options for your child.

Fruit & Vegetable Cups: Fruit and vegetable cups can be the perfect healthy and delicious snack for your child. Put together a fruit salad full of cherries, blueberries, grapes, and strawberries and pre-pack them for easy grab and go snacks. Chop up cucumbers, peppers, carrots, and cauliflower for easy to eat mid-day veggie cups. You can also incorporate other foods like cheese, hummus, or peanut butter for a more filling option.

Bartram Academy serves children only the highest quality foods, and we ensure that it is fresh, sustainable, and catering to a child’s diet. If you’re interested in enrolling your child in one of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, call us today at (904) 419-7563.

Child-Friendly Gardening Projects Part 2

best preschools in Jacksonville FLSummertime is the best time to watch plants grow and create crafty projects with your children! Now that summer is in full bloom, Bartram Academy has even more child-friendly gardening projects to share with you.

  • Garden Stones- Your child can design their own decorative stone for the garden. They can decorate it with gemstones, paint, pebbles, and more. When they are done, they can sign it with their handprint and name. They can also write the year on the stone, so you can always remember how old they were when they created their own garden decor.
  • From Seed to Plant- Let your child pick out a flower or plant seed they want to grow. You can help them plant it in the ground or a pot and let them tend to it while they watch it flourish. Your child will learn responsibility by caring for their very own flower or plant. You can even take pictures of the different stages, so you can document the progress for your child.
  • Bird Feeder- Your child can make their very own bird feeder from a recycled milk carton. All you have to do is cut out holes for the food and let your child decorate the carton. Once the paint and glue dries, fill it with bird feed and place it outside.

When you are looking for the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, you can trust Bartram Academy. Contact us today at (904) 419-7563 for more information about our enriching programs.