“Academy Ecoland” – latest technologies of education and childrenrearing

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The dynamics of modern private educational institutions development in Ukraine is growing rapidly. This applies to universities, private schools and day care centers.

About the latest technologies of education and childrenrearing, what ideas should be taken into account when choosing the institution for your child, today we are talking with Marina Bondarenko, the head of “Academy Ecoland” preschool educational institution.

“We have created the first innovative project of preschool eco-education in Ukraine. Academy Ecoland is a successful combination of the world’s best practices and exceptional expertize”

The world is changing rapidly. People are facing more and more new challenges that were unknown to our grandparents or even our parents. In addition, new horizons of opportunities open up for humanity. What parents should pay attention to in order to raise their kid to be a man of the future?

“Academy Ecoland” - latest technologies of education and childrenrearing– First of all, parents should stop reflecting their unrealized dreams in their children. Children are the source of undiscovered revelations. The main thing is to see their personal talents and preferences in them. When kids are small, let them try a lot – music, sports, creativity, science, IT-achievements. It is good that nowadays there are many opportunities for this. For example, “Academy of Contemporary Education”, our educational network, adheres to the principle of “all under one roof”, through it children can get maximum of comprehensive development: singing, piano, choreography, rhythmic gymnastics, football, basketball, chess, cricket, eidetics, mental arithmetic, foreign languages, Lego Education, Robotics, 3D-Design, research studios, etc. In our network there are more than 50 directions for children, and in addition to fulltime pre-school, primary or secondary education, each child will be able to realize him- or herself more professionally either in sport, or in music.

This approach guarantees that in their adulthood, when children will have to choose, they will be sure to say “yes, I am a football player” or “I want to build a business”. Parents should stop fearing for the future, and show their own positive example, children always follow.

“In our educational institutions, we implement the bilingual education methodology based on the “Our World” Oxford program, developed jointly with National Geographic, where students learn to speak English in the play method and during the learning process”

When is it better to take a child to kindergarten? Does it all depend on age or individuality plays the role in this matter?

– Undoubtedly, individuality plays the role.

The first recommendation to parents is to watch their kid. How he interacts with other children, what skills he has. In general, psychologists agree that overwhelmingly children ripen for kindergarten at the age of 2–3 years. In our network, we practise accepting children at such a young age, and experience shows that children are fully prepared both psychologically and physically. You can also prepare children for this period. For example, visit early development centers and children’s clubs for several hours several times a week. Let there be such a rehearsal, which will make it clear whether your child is ready for a full day’s kindergarten.

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“Academy Ecoland” - latest technologies of education and childrenrearing

What is the difference between home education and education in a special children’s institution?

– Firstly, it is communication skills. Secondly, any educational institution will provide much more opportunities to realize intellectual abilities, creative potential. Thirdly, it is a rich training program, leisure organization, which is difficult to implement at home.

Some parents choose nannies or babysitters for home education. For they think that children will be more safe, well trained and well-groomed. Then, they often install surveillance cameras in their houses, get nervous over nothing, spend time on monitoring. It seems to me that it is easier to give your child to an educational institution, where everything will be taken care of on the highest level of safety and preparation, and the child’s leisure time will be organized. Isn’t it?

– On the one hand, such an approach to the first stage of education is likely to be positive.

But the moment of communication with peers and socialization, which now plays an extremely important role, is lost. Such children, in future, may have difficulties during the adaptation period when entering the school. In kindergarten children have the opportunity to observe each other, to see the successes and defeats of their peers, that forms a certain pattern of behavior in different situations in them. In addition, kindergarten is the official establishment, which is fully responsible for the child’s stay at the institution.

What misperceptions have parents about preschool institutions?

– Apparently, the most common stereotype is that children in kindergarten are constantly ill, there are microbes and infections everywhere.

But no. With the right choice of licensed (it is important) educational pre-school institution, it is possible to avoid such problems. In our kindergartens, for example, daily check-up of children is conducted to detect the symptoms of diseases. In addition, sanitary standards for ventilation, quartz processing and damp cleaning must be adhered to in the institutions.

“Academy Ecoland” - latest technologies of education and childrenrearing

What should be taken into account when choosing an educational institution? What are the three questions to ask the principal of the kindergarten before giving your child for rearing there?

– In fact, work must be done before you get to the meeting with the principal. Collect the maximum of recommendations, get acquainted with the program, methods, check the licensing of the institution. And then just organizational matters and acquaintance with educators should remain.

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Some day care centers have testing the child must take before being accepted. Is this a necessary measure? What does it give?

– If we are talking about the entrance testing in primary school, then this method is used by many private institutions. This testing does not necessarily affect whether the child is accepted to the school. Sometimes psychological and physiological readiness is defined in this way.

Even the way the child is holding a pencil tells the specialist whether there are significant obstacles for the child in the learning process.

In addition, testing helps parents identify their child’s intellectual abilities and choose a program for further education.

As for kindergartens, for example, we offer parents to take an interview with a psychologist regarding the child’s readiness when entering a preschool institution.

Why is it important to begin with studies, sports and art with a child from an early age?

– In childhood, the formation of habits is laid, and if we instil love for a healthy lifestyle and contemplation of beauty through art, it will give future seeds for the harmonious and highquality formation of the individual. Education disciplines, uncovers the world from different directions, children never stop studying, in school it simply acquires another form.

My friend’s daughter is three years old. She attends a private kindergarten in Kyiv. She freely speaks English and Russian for his age. Her native language is Ukrainian. She started learning foreign languages from the age of one and a half years. When is the best time to start learning foreign language for a child? Why is it worth starting with kindergarten? How not to lose time?

– Your friend did the right thing. Because the best time to study foreign languages is the period of brain growth – from 1.5 to 3 years.

There are different scientifical options, but we adhere to this one, because we already see the results on our pupils who study in bilingual groups. Such a method expands the vocabulary of not only the foreign language, but also the native language. We are currently introducing studying for children in bilingual groups, which makes it possible to create a comfortable English speaking environment with native speakers.

“Academy Ecoland” - latest technologies of education and childrenrearing

In September, you open “Academy Ecoland”, your children’s institution. This is a modern kindergarten with the latest methods of education and studies. Tell us about the features of your institution?

– This is a really promising institution, we have been in love with it since the beginning of construction. We have created the first innovative project of preschool eco-education in Ukraine. Academy Ecoland is a successful combination of the world’s best practices and signature expertize.

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Firstly, we adhere to the principles of ecological education. Our teachers work according to the Italian Reggio methodology.

We consider this approach the most natural way to direct the child on the path of harmonious development. It’s important to intrude less and give space to realize the potential, to direct in some cases, but not to interfere with the talent and reveal the universe of each child’s personality.

Secondly, we have arranged the ecological space. Interior, material and technical base, furniture, toys, didactic material, chosen in accordance with modern requirements and the latest technologies of education that meet the requirements of environmental friendliness and safety. We are getting ready to receive the International certificate of preschool ecoeducation from FEE International. Therefore, we have a priority: studying through action and learning about the world through projects and experiments, socialization and communication of a child, interactive games and work in a team of friends, development of emotional and cognitive skills.

Thirdly, we have implemented the bilingual teaching methodology. An ideal combination of several languages in the Oxford “Our World” learning program, developed jointly with National Geographic, where students learn to speak English in the play method and during the learning process. Together with the teacher they work, look for mistakes and accomplish tasks.

This makes children think logically and analyze.

Due to such a holistic approach in our institution pupils will receive harmonious physical, mental and intellectual development.

“Academy Ecoland” - latest technologies of education and childrenrearing

You have well trained teachers and work experience. Some of them have foreign education. How did you select the people for the team?

– Teachers in our eco-kinderdarten pass multi-level testing and corporate training. Professionalism, competence and love for children are the criteria for the initial selection of our educators. We have gathered a team of highly skilled, enthusiastic, result-oriented people. Most of the staff are involved from the institutions of our educational network, as we are sure that they have already been inspired by the philosophy and concept of A+, they will set the right tone in the team. In addition, at the Academy we arrrange ongoing activities to improve the professional level of our specialists: studies, trainings, education forums and festivals.

Before the beginning of the school year, we have a course for the team delivered by a specialist in reggio-pedagogy. We will pump up our skills.

Experienced parents say that rearing and educating children is the best investment. Will you agree with them?

– Of course, I agree. Children usually have one or two favorite toys, and they do not remember the rest of them after 2 years of age. A highquality education will have lifelong benefits.