Getting the Most from Your Child’s Preschool

For information about how your child can get more out of preschool, contact Jennifer Kendall, Assistant Head of School for Early School Education and Admissions, at 313.886.1221 or jkendall@gpacademy.org.

- GPA Admissions

So your child has started preschool. Does it feel like there isn’t enough structure and there is too much play time? Do you worry about the lack of personal attention your child receives? Is it all about cutesy songs like the Itsy Bitsy Spider? Or should you be looking for a preschool where your child is guided to discover, to explore, and to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for future success?

At The Grosse Pointe Academy Montessori Early School, students begin formal learning at an early age – as young as 2 1/2. The best learning at this ages comes from engaged teachers and a purposeful classroom environment. The Practical Life area, the Sensorial area, and the Academic areas – including reading, math, science, and geography – are all part of the carefully structured learning plan.

“Our very youngest children are taught to make individual choices based on their abilities and interests, to take Montessori materials from the child height shelves, and to develop budding interests,” said Jennifer Kendall, Director of the Academy’s Early School Education. “Teachers foster this process by assessing the children’s readiness for a learning activity, demonstrating a skill, and guiding a child’s work as necessary.”

Technology may have its place in learning, but at this early age, sensorial engagement with the pink tower, the thousand chain, the smelling jars, the sound boxes, bells, the geometric solids, and the sandpaper letters are more important for early childhood development. All of the senses are engaged in this total immersion in learning, with the tablet taking a back seat to the moveable alphabet – where 4 and 5 year olds, and even some 3 years olds, start to spell, to read, and to build numeracy skills.

And there’s more: GPA students learn French from age 3. They are immersed
in music, art, physical education, and creative movement classes, with extended day options available. Throughout it all, parents remain connected to their children’s education through personal interaction, regular communication, and formal conferences with the teacher.

“Parents must observe our students in action to truly gain an appreciation for what happens on a daily basis,” said Head of School Lars Kuelling. “The environment is creative, adventurous and spontaneous, and children are encouraged to make decisions for themselves, take risks, and solve problems on their own.”

For information about how your child can get more out of preschool, contact Jennifer Kendall, Assistant Head of School for Early School Education and Admissions, at 313.886.1221 or jkendall@gpacademy.org.