Parents appreciate the importance of early childhood education but wonder: What are the characteristics of a high-quality preschool? As a former early childhood educator and mother of two, I’ve seen which practices benefit young children, which ones don’t, and which ones are actually harmful to them (e.g. long Circle Times, teacher-directed craft projects, lengthy calendar activities, paper-pencil tasks in workbooks). One of my sons attended a non-profit parent-cooperative that strictly adhered to the teachings of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). My other son attended a privately owned preschool that came highly recommended but followed no road map other than the owner’s whim. Based on these divergent experiences, I learned how important it is that a preschool has a strong identity, a sound philosophy, and a firm understanding of developmentally appropriate practices. This bit I don’t. Kids can get structure and socialization from other sources besides a traditional brick-and-mortar school. Successful home-school parents are usually highly organized and structured people to begin with, so they can impart the structure thing on their kids. Also, there are many home-school cooperatives where kids get together and socialize. Plus there’s municipal sports leagues, church youth groups, 4-H, stuff like that.

Malala’s spirit is one that makes me hopeful. May she continue to lead the way as few dare to do. Thank you for honoring her with this beautiful feature. It has reminded me of why I chose teaching in the first place. What will be my part in ensuring girls around the world have the opportunity to pursue an education? For it is action that will make a difference, not good intentions.

As a music educator, Aileen believes the most important skills to be musicianship, passion, the ability to relate to children, and to methodically break instructions into small steps – especially when teaching kindergarten or elementary school aged children.

While a new United Nations study shows that the global poverty rate could be more than halved if all adults completed secondary school, data show high out-of-school rates in many countries, making it likely that education completion levels will remain well below that target for generations.

Great lens – I love the giggle poetry from Meadowbrook (I actually applied for a job there out of collage, but alas no luck 🙂 ) and thanks for submitting some lenses to Review Central – I’ll certainly add a category for educational kids site reviews.

As I began to get more successful in my work life, I stopped going to junior college for a while because of my work hours and the challenges college was providing. I didn’t really have to overcome adversity in my homeschool setting, so it was a coping skill I needed but had not yet obtained.Education