Spring is an exciting season in the play-based curriculum at The International Preschools. Following thematic classroom units on the Earth, students at The International Preschools explore life cycles. Students of all ages are introduced to live caterpillars, who are then placed in a “butterfly garden” and observed and recorded closely. Preschoolers excitedly experience firsthand as caterpillars enter their chrysalises and emerge as butterflies! For a few joyful days, the children enjoy spending time with their new “classmates.” But soon, the teachers will tell the class that it is time to release the butterflies to live in their natural habitats. There is a bittersweet “ceremony,” where the butterfly gardens are opened and its inhabitants are set free, to live in a local park.
At The International Preschools, the end of the spring and life cycles unit acts as an introduction to our end of the school year conversations about “saying goodbye.” Most classes do not focus on where the children are going in September, whether that’s the Green Room or an ongoing school, because preschool children do not have the sense of time that older children do. Preschoolers cannot necessarily decipher the difference between a few days, a few weeks, and a few months from now. So, most teachers choose to focus on the growth that the children have experienced over the last nine months: how strong and confident they are, how capable they are…in order to continue to boost the children’s self-esteem. Much like the caterpillars, who transformed into butterflies, the children themselves have transformed from toddlers to three-year-olds, three-year-olds to four-year-olds, four-year-olds to five-year-olds, etc. With a strong base, children will be able to tackle any transitions and changes that come their way, be it summer camp, a family vacation, or an ongoing school!
Much as our community loves the school year and classroom experience, we eventually need to move on to something new. However, we are always assured that we can still keep our friends (winged or otherwise) and, of course, come back and visit!
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