I have been surrounded lately by articles (in both scholarly and contemporary venues) emphasizing the value of play and social skill development in early childhood education. For example, a study conducted by researchers at Michigan State University (Montroy, Bowles, Skibbe & Foster, 2014), published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, supports the theory that well developed social skills are beneficial for growth, particularly in literacy. An article recently published in the Washington Post discusses the role that play has in predicting future success. Quoted in this article is Dr. Damon Jones, a professor at Penn State, who states how important it is to incorporate social skill building into the curriculum. Well, we are well ahead of the research curve.
One of the foci of a Harbor School education is age-appropriate social skill development. Our Preschool is play-based, which means we provide a multitude of opportunities and scaffolding to encourage and support social skill development. Play can be described as a child's laboratory - a safe place to make and learn from mistakes, experiment, and ultimately develop better skills in negotiating, cooperation, perseverance, leadership, and creativity. Play fosters language and vocabulary development, mathematics and problem solving, and motor development. On top of all of this, play is FUN.
The Harbor School places significant emphasis on the building of all academic skills, from reading and math to art and music, but a strong early childhood program also emphasizes the non-academic skills. The whole child must be taught, and well-developed social skills are at the foundation of all learning. After all, in the "real" world, very little is accomplished in isolation - cooperation, collaboration and teamwork...that's what it's all about!
You can be confident that The Harbor School promotes this very critical aspect of child development!