Le Jardin Enchanté
3 – 4 years
Social relationships do not guarantee high happiness, but it does not appear to occur without them. – Martin Seligman
Now that your infant has become a small child, he is able to get dressed on his own and brush his teeth, knows basic hygiene, has developed a good notion of time, is attentive and thoughtful to others, has certain preferences with regard to music, sports and games, and has also perfectly mastered his own space and gestures, and developed his sociability. Entering into Jardin d’Enfant will allow him to complete his socialization, share, exchange, discuss, assert himself and learn in a peaceful environment.
We have not spoken much about academic learning so far, because I remain convinced that the premature introduction of academic learning can only be a source of discouragement and loss of self-esteem for a child. Studies conducted in Finland and in many OECD countries have demonstrated that the introduction of reading and writing later on in childhood promotes a better assimilation of the information transmitted to the child.
In year one of Jardin d’Enfant, the emphasis is on educational games. Lessons of a purely academic nature will not be given. Remember that for children, games are the ultimate conveyors of knowledge. Therefore, we will continue along these lines. Puzzles, drawing, group games, songs, etc. will be used to encourage a playful learning environment. Our children will create new activities of their own inspiration, while playfully interacting with one another and teaching each other new things. Our early childhood educators will monitor every child as he or she acquires new skills and, with the cooperation of the parents and the administration, consider adjusting existing programs as needed so that every child can develop and learn at his or her own pace.
The other fundamental skill acquired is language, which as adults will allow us to express our emotions, desires and frustrations. It is critical that a four-year-old child be able to express his feelings. We will encourage your child to do so using drawing, imitation, sports… and even help him put words to his emotions. “Language is a social art,” Willard Van Orman Quine. Teaching a child to speak and express himself is fundamental to the development of his emotional and social intelligence. We must encourage and assist children to express their thoughts by any means at their disposal. Our early childhood educators will use art, sports, reading, imitation, role play, etc., to achieve a level of language development that is sufficient enough for your child to express himself freely and be able to put his emotions in words.
According to Theodor Adorno, intelligence is inseparable from emotion—both are necessary to act morally. Denying emotions or decimating them can lead to a certain immorality and lack of differentiation between right and wrong in later years. As a child acquires a sense of morality, his conscience will develop and his relationships with those around him will improve. This acquisition is essential to the transition from early childhood to childhood so that a child never feels misunderstood or rejected.