Private School offers the Froebel Gifts to Mississauga

You Have Heard of Montessori, How About Froebel?

While many Mississauga Parents have heard of Maria Montessori, you may not have heard of Friedrich Froebel, but doubtless you have heard of his invention.  Friedrich Froebel, inventor of the Kindergarten, is experiencing a renewed surge in recognition and notice in today’s education circles.  Froebel’s word kindergarten is German for “a garden of children”.  It was his influence that first brought the idea of early childhood education to our Ontario School system. An education system modeled after good parenting, his ideas were well ahead of his time and continue to be on the forefront of educational thought. Time and time again research bears out the importance of creativity as a partner to learning and drawing out the child’s own initiative.

     Froebel’s ideas have influenced some of the world’s great innovators.  Architect Frank Lloyd Wright credits his boyhood experiences with the Froebel Gifts as the foundation of his architecture, and Buckminster Fuller, creator of the geodesic dome and second president of Mensa, also attended a Froebel Kindergarten.   Milton Bradley, American game pioneer, was an advocate of Froebel’s ideas, and Enid Blyton author of The Railway Children was trained as a Froebel Kindergartner.
The Froebel Education Centre in Mississauga was established 40 years ago based on Friedrich Froebel’s principles of education. It includes children from the ages of 3 to Grade 8. Faculty of Education students from Ryerson, York and Toronto Universities, as well as established educators from Canada, Korea and the United States visit the centre to observe the methods in practice.
What are some differences a Froebel education makes?

1.     A joy-filled education experience for each child.  At Froebel, they play!  Froebel’s philosophy of education is focused on play.  This play can be many things; the children and older students create dramas based on their literature or history studies, they build models of their areas of interest, they experience geometry and design while building with the Froebel Gifts, make cell structures out of Jell-O and candy, compose music; you name it, the ways to learn playfully are endless.  The students are creative and self-active; they begin to direct and create their own learning opportunities.  

2.    A safe environment for children to express their creative ideas and to be granted the time to follow through with them.  At Froebel, the small group sizes and philosophy of education enable teachers to get to know each child individually by drawing out from them their ideas and creative thoughts.  In today’s challenging environment, organizations of all sizes and types are looking to recruit those who are able to think creatively and imagine possibilities.
3.    No homework until Grade 3.  Kris Rushowy, Education reporter for The Toronto Star, wrote in an article dated September 22, 2008 “What’s wrong with homework?  Most parents already have a front-row seat to what’s wrong.  They watch the frustration and exhaustion on the part of their children; they are pulled into the conflict and into nagging.  They watch children who lack the time to pursue interests they care about after a full day in school. Homework may be the single greatest extinguisher of a child’s curiosity.  It tends to make kids less excited about learning.”

4.    A sense of release from the pressures of competition and ranking that exists in the systems today.  At the Froebel Education Centre, they do not assign graded final marks until a student reaches the Grade 7 level.  The impact of this on the children is not to be underestimated.  These are children who love to learn for the pure joy of it.  They encourage one another, and know one another’s strengths.  They often create their own homework projects, simply because they enjoy it.  These are children who are proud of their own accomplishments and are free from the pressures of comparing themselves to others.  Through anecdotal reporting and parent interviews as well as self-reflection reports, the children gain a sense of their own learning styles, strengths and weaknesses.
5.    An education experience that supports the home.  Friedrich Froebel sought to support family life by encouraging mothers, at that time the children’s first educators, in their parenting.  The Froebel Education Centre seeks to continue that principle by encouraging proper nutrition and bedtimes, as well as parents spending time reading aloud to children daily.  They also offer parent classes as well as opportunities for parents to learn more about education and Froebel through Froebel Institute classes.   

At Froebel, each child’s course of development is honoured.  Children will not meet milestones all at the same time, nor is it fair or reasonable to expect them to do so.  Through the Froebel philosophy, each child will have a rich education experience, and one that will give him or her the tools needed in order to make a difference in the world, and live a life that is fulfilling and rewarding.   In order to see the Froebel philosophy in action, you can call the Froebel Education Centre at 905-277-9371 to arrange an appointment or visit their website at The Froebel Education Centre.

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