Our Beliefs on Education
The Child as Protagonist/ Emergent Curriculum
We fervently believe and support the idea that during their first years, children should be the protagonists and creators of their own learning. We think our job as teachers and caregivers is to facilitate the learning experience with love, creativity, care, diligence and patience.
By observing and listening to what our students say and sing, where their curiosity lies, what challenges they face, and what excites them in their daily life, BKid creates developmentally appropriate activities unique to the children, group, and specific moment. We believe this expands their cognitive and social potentials organically. This involves both child-initiated activities and teacher-supported learning.
Play and Learn
Are children naturally motivated to play?
Yes! No matter if they are hyperactive, quiet, introverted, serious, hilariously funny, tall, short, drama babe, the tantrum king, Swedish, Australian… You get my point... CHILDREN LOVE PLAYING! Fortunately, play is the most effective way in which young children gain knowledge and skills on several developmental domains. Including motor, cognitive, social and emotional skills.
Our play-based approach builds on the natural instinct children have for play to encourage their learning. Through interaction we aim to stretch their thinking to higher levels of understanding.
Home-Based / Slow Transition from a Home Setting to a Formal School Setting
“For the first three years, infants and toddlers do best in home-based settings. They tend to experience less stress, less illness, and fewer behavioral problems”; National Institute for Child Health and Human Development.
Our home-based setting gives young children a slow introduction to the school experience they will have in later years. By providing a bridge from a home set-up to a center-based preschool, our sessions are a controlled setting for children to explore, learn, and grow. Our small group size (maximum of 5-6 children) offers an intimate setting for children to explore a classroomlike set-up. This subtle transition allows children to feel comfortable and supported while the role of the parent/caregiver slowly transforms, giving the child an opportunity to gain greater social and emotional confidence. We offer a nurturing environment full of guidance, encouragement and support. We take great care to set up a space with teaching materials that stimulate curiosity, exploration and an appetite for learning, since we believe that preserving a homelike environment within the physical space is another great tool for learning.
A mixed age group most closely resembles a lot of families and brings the opportunity to kids to support and learn from each other. Our playgroups are usually formed by two children under the age of two, the stage when they are starting to socialize more, and three or four children between 2 and 4 years old. As children develop at different speeds across various skills, regardless of where they are at in their own process, all children benefit from relating to children of different ages. The younger children learn new skills by observing their older peers (like how to use the toilet!), while the older children learn to be patient, tolerant and empathic of others as the younger children learn new accepted social behaviors from them.
At each developmental stage, mindfulness can be a useful tool for decreasing anxiety and promoting happiness. With mindfulness, we have the opportunity to give children the habit of being peaceful, kind and accepting. We believe that children are uniquely suited to benefit from mindfulness practice. When we teach mindfulness to children, we are sharing with them skillful ways of relating to life’s uncomfortable and challenging moments. The earlier we do this in their young lives, the greater the opportunity to help them cultivate resilience to develop and refine their mindfulness practice as they mature.
During our sessions, we teach mindfulness through breathing exercises and through nature observation, reflecting on the beauty of the natural world out there. We also use the STOP strategy when we encounter a stressful situation: Stop, Take a deep breath, Observe and Proceed.
Music and Learning
Music! Another thing we are passionate about. We believe it is so, so, so important to expose children to music at an early age. Not because you want them to be a successful musician (although it may be very cool to be the parents of a famous musician), but because of all the cognitive benefits of music. To mention a few examples: learning to distinguish sounds in music helps children discriminate sounds of language, learning songs improves verbal memory, following rhythms helps them become more aware of mathematical patterns. Music is food for children’s brains!
In our playgroups, children are exposed to a lot of musical stimuli. We play the piano and ukulele. Children experiment with real instruments. We identify sounds in classical music. We follow rhythms with percussion. And we learn tons of Spanish songs. The benefits of music for young children last for life!
Bilingualism in Young Children
Ok, now, did you read everything we wrote about the kid as the protagonist, emergent curriculum, play-learning methodology? We do all that in a full Spanish Immersion Environment!
Studies on brain science and behavioral science show that there is a link between emotions in social processing and cognitive abilities.
We strongly, passionately, absolutely believe in the benefits of exposing children to a second/third language. Not just for the gains of being bilingual but because of the cognitive and social benefits of exposure at early ages.
Studies support that children who begin learning a second language before the age of six, will have an easier time understanding math concepts and solving word problems, developing strong thinking skills, using logic, focusing, remembering, and making decisions, thinking about language and learning other languages.