Los Angeles School Admissions Consultant - Preschool, K-12, Private Schools, Magnet & Charter Schools
Hide/Menu

Preschool Philosophies

There are many different types of preschools, and this variety can prove bewildering to a parent encountering the wonderful world of preschool for the first time. A quality school should always be developmentally appropriate. Some schools will also be both developmentally appropriate and adhere to a particular philosophy or instructional method; some will also impart religious teaching as part of the school day. Here is a look at some popular approaches to preschool, although this is by no means an exhaustive list.


Developmentally Appropriate:
Most quality preschools will call themselves “developmental,” which means that they are:

  • Individually appropriate and age appropriate
  • Addressing the needs of each child
  • Encouraging children to learn through the use of "manipulatives" --real objects
  • Helping children learn about topics that are "personally meaningful and interesting"—i.e. language skills are improved through children's story telling
  • Learning each child's skills and abilities and helping to develop them by providing appropriate challenges for each individual

Children are encouraged to work individually or in small groups, and there is time in the school day for both. There is also time specifically set aside for gross motor and fine motor activities; developing pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills; creative projects; art and music; and free play.

Montessori:

The goal of the Montessori method is to provide a stimulating, child-centered environment. Montessori encourages children to develop their skills by doing many types of activities. These activities include use of the five senses, kinetic movement, spatial refinement, small and large motor skill coordination, and concrete knowledge that leads to later abstraction. There is a belief in the "absorbent mind:"

  • That children from birth to around age 6 possess limitless motivation to achieve competence within their environment and to perfect skills and understandings. This phenomenon is characterized by the young child's capacity for repetition of activities as practice leading to competence in all realms.
  • That children are masters of their environment, which has been specifically prepared for them to be academic, comfortable, and allow a maximum amount of independence.
  • That children learn through discovery, so didactic materials that are self-correcting are used as much as possible.
  • Independent problem solving is encouraged.

    Every activity has its place in the classroom and is self-contained and self-correcting. A child doesn't work with an activity until the teacher or another student has demonstrated its proper use to him or her, and then s/he may use it as s/he wishes (limited only by his or her imagination or a danger to the material, himself or herself or others). Each activity leads directly to a new level of learning or concept. When a child "works," s/he is acquiring the basis for later concepts. Repetition of activities is considered an integral part of this learning process and children are allowed to repeat activities as often as they wish. A child's becoming tired of the repetition is thought to be a sign s/he is ready for the next level of learning. The child proceeds at his or her own pace from concrete objects and tactile experiences to abstract thinking, writing, reading, science, and mathematics.

Reggio Emilia:

The Reggio Emilia Approach to preschool education was started by parents and educators, rebuilding the schools of the city of Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. In this approach, children, teachers and parents are considered the three central protagonists in the educational process. There is an emphasis on work in small groups, and is based on the social constructivist model that supports the idea that we construct our own knowledge and learn best through our interaction with peers, adults, things in the world, and symbols.

Children’s intellectual development is fostered through a focus on symbolic representation, including words, movement, drawing, painting, building, sculpture, shadow play, collage, dramatic play and music, which leads children to surprising levels of communication, symbolic skills and creativity. Teachers facilitate children’s exploration of themes, work on short-and long-term projects, and guide experiences of open-ended discovery and problem-solving. To know how to plan and proceed with their work, teachers listen and observe children closely, and engage in continuous discussion and interpretation of their work and the work of children. These exchanges provide ongoing training and theoretical enrichment. Teachers try to encourage children to find answers to their own questions rather than giving children scientific answers. Teachers document their work with the children, and the documentation helps make the learning visible for parents, teachers and children.

Also vital to the Reggio approach is the design and use of space, which has an underlying order and beauty in the organization of all the space in a school, and the equipment and materials within it.

  • Follows the children's interests rather than adhering to a set curriculum
  • Children are encouraged to work in groups
  • Materials children work with are very diverse (not just paint & clay--wood, pine cones, shells, wire, beads, light and shadow)
  • Teachers believe children can express themselves through various visual media--not just speech
  • Children's work is carefully "documented" through the display of projects, allowing them to learn that their work is important, to see progress made over time, and to share the child’s learning with parents.


Preschool Consultation

Even with early panic setting in by the time your child is two, searching for a high-quality preschool can be a nerve-wracking experience. L.A. School Scout offers you a partner in this process. As an educational consulting service, L.A. School Scout offers skilled professional assistance to help families in Los Angeles find and choose a preschool that is a good personal match, which will foster your child’s cognitive, developmental, physical and social-emotional growth.

We provide each family with individual attention, and firsthand knowledge of local educational opportunities. Services include: an assessment of your family’s needs, a list of referrals to specific preschools which best match your family’s needs and your child’s educational needs, a schedule of school tours, proactive networking with preschools on your behalf, and follow up until you get at least one acceptance from a preschool.

Schedule of Services

Navigating the bewildering variety of preschools and K-12 schools can be overwhelming. Coupled with the need for two hour blocks of time for each school tour, just making the time for this and keeping the names and philosophies straight becomes a very lonely and demanding task.

L.A. School Scout™ is your partner in this process, offering skilled professional assistance to help families find and choose a preschool that is a good match for your family’s expectations, and which will foster your child’s cognitive, creative, physical and social-emotional growth. Services include: a family interview and assessment, a list of referrals to “best match” preschools, a schedule of school tours, application forms and informational packages, and follow up even after your application is in.

General Consultation ONLY AVAILABLE ABOUT PUBLIC SCHOOLS

  • A one-hour phone conference
  • Review of L.A. School Scout questionnaire
  • A general discussion of your school options
  • Research into and discussion of appropriate placements and/or neighborhoods
  • Consultation regarding your child’s current school situation, if needed
  • Information on different educational approaches
  • Customized school list, including documentation with an in-depth description of each school

Family  Consultation

  • A 90-minute in-person family interview and needs assessment at L.A. School Scout’s Santa Monica office
  • Review of L.A. School Scout questionnaire
  • Review of school report card, IQ testing, IEP and/or educational assessment, if needed
  • Research into appropriate placements and/or neighborhoods
  • Consultation regarding your child’s current school situation, if needed
  • Information on different educational approaches
  • Mediation of differing opinions regarding styles of education – possibly the best couples counseling around!
  • Customized school list, including documentation with an in-depth description of each school

Comprehensive Consultation, Preschool or K-12

 All items in the family consultation above plus the following:

  • School observation for grades K-5, as needed
  • Development of a customized list of schools in consultation with parents, based on the student’s unique interests and strengths, including documentation with an in-depth description of each school and tour and/or open house dates
  • Scheduling of school tours and open houses as needed
  • Application guidance and essay review
  • Tour, interview, and assessment reminders via email and application deadline compliance monitoring
  • Personalized tour and application tracking information available online 24x7 via private login, including weekly reminders of upcoming scheduled appointments
  • For applicants to grades 6-12, recommendations regarding extracurricular activities
  • For applicants to grades 5-12, recommendations regarding testing and collaboration with tutors
  • Interview preparation for parents
  • Interview preparation for students in grades 5-12
  • Consultation throughout the decision-making process
  • On-going support throughout the school application process

Relocation/Rush Placement

This service was developed especially for those relocating to Los Angeles, or to a different neighborhood within Los Angeles, or for those who need an emergency mid-year placement, this service includes:

  • A one-hour phone conference
  • Review of L.A. School Scout questionnaire
  • Review of school report card, IQ testing, IEP and/or educational assessment, if needed
  • A general discussion of your school options
  • Research into and discussion of appropriate placements and/or neighborhoods
  • Consultation regarding your child’s current school situation, if needed
  • Information on different educational approaches
  • Customized school list, including documentation with an in-depth description of each school
  • Inquiries and application requests on behalf of the family
  • Application process coordinated by L.A. School Scout
  • Out of area and/or rush placements upon request
  • Process completed before a new school year starts

Your school search can be customized to meet your specific educational needs. Call with any questions – we want to help you find the best possible placement for your child. We can be reached at 877.877.6240 or by Email.

LA School Whisperer