There are five core learning domains that educators and caregivers aim to develop in the early years – physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and language. However, at Safari Kid, we are a little “extra” and believe that intentional learning goes beyond these five domains. We also believe there is no single best approach to this development.
These two values help us go the extra mile in nurturing young hearts and minds, and our extended learning goals and progressive outlook allow us to adapt to new understandings and research about children.
How A Children’s Progress Varies
Research indicates that a child’s progress depends on their strengths and should be viewed through more than just the lens of traditional academic success.
Our ideas extend past traditional methods because we take the whole child into account and give them a tailored experience, which empowers us to make our learning unique and our curriculum truly holistic. An example of this is how we gear our curriculum towards wellness and health in our students.
Health and Care: Going Beyond the Core Domains
While navigating the five core domains and learning how to be social is extremely important in a child’s development, Safari Kid also knows the value of taking a deep dive inward. Specifically, recognizing when children are starting to feel overwhelmed and then learning the best ways to calm their bodies and minds is an example that highlights our goal to go beyond the five core domains.
We give our students this “extra” area of development through self-reflection lessons, like learning how to breathe intentionally, or through focused thinking. We teach them how to regulate their bodies by engaging in a physically calming activity, such as yoga. These are skills that, when learned at a young age (just as you learn to brush your teeth every day), can become a habit and be used when needed. When children have this intuitive self-awareness paired with accompanying coping skills, it gives them a key to managing stress in life.
This extra focus on a child’s learning experience through health and care helps Safari Kid develop our unique learning approach and, ultimately, reduce long-term stress levels. What a gift to give a child!
Another secret is our decision to employ ideas from more than just one preschool methodology and stay up-to-date on research concerning how children best learn. Just as we know our children come from diverse backgrounds and have varying personalities, interests, and learning styles, we also know there isn’t just one way all children learn.
Safari Kid’s Inspiration
We take our inspiration for some of these ideas from recognized child development experts such as Reggio Emilia and Maria Montessori. We also draw from the Waldorf education style. Emilia was one of the first to stand behind the idea that the environment is a third teacher, while Montessori’s teachings stressed the importance of respecting children and giving them choices.
We incorporate opportunities for many different types of play into our programs because we understand the importance of child-directed play. We also believe in current brain science, which tells us that infants from birth on are learning through “serve and return” engagement from caretakers. Additionally, the 1 million new neural connections that form every second during a child’s early years will provide either a strong or weak foundation for the connections that form later on. Understanding this rapid development of brain architecture is why we aim to provide as many opportunities for sensorial play and growth throughout the day in our programs.
How Safari Kid Extends Past Traditional Methods
While understanding research and being inspired by different philosophies helps us extend our curriculum, we also understand the theory of multiple intelligences. This theory moves away from the traditional idea that a child is either smart or not smart, based on tests that only cater to language acquisition and mathematical abilities.
We believe that intelligence is much more multifaceted than that and should consider other important aspects of overall development, such as spatial intelligence, musical intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, and bodily intelligence, in addition to just language and math.
This understanding is a key component and reflection of our curriculum and programs. Through teacher training and an understanding of these varying intelligences, we aim to ensure that all our students are nurtured and celebrated in all areas of learning.
Through our openness to ongoing early childhood research, our curriculum that extends past the five core domains, our flexibility to take inspiration from varying philosophies, and how we aren’t limited in our understanding of intelligence, Safari Kid’s comprehensive grasp on early childhood development proudly gives each child just what they need.
When you franchise with Safari Kid, you give children and their families a learning experience they never thought possible. Contact us today to learn more about opening a business that extends learning and improves children’s lives.