I think you're reading too much into the "developmental" label. I think it just means "we're not particularly concerned with explicitly teaching academic skills." I don't think it describes any particular philosophy or approach. Except that due to the absence of academic teaching, it is likely to feature a fair bit of social, physical, imaginative and creative play.
Miranda in rural BC, Canadamom to three great kids and one great grown-upunschooler, violist, runner, doc
A couple comments.
I'm hesitant to really consider Waldorf "developmental." Yes, it's playbased but there is a belief within the Waldorf community that it's "wrong" for young children to have academic pursuits even if it's developmentally appropriate for them. A developmental preschool is supposed to allow for the diverse interests of it's students. There should be writing stations where 3-year-old could scribble pretending to write a letter but also be appropriate for a 3-year-old who could actually write a proper card to grandma. Montessori is developmental in theory but you have to be really careful when choosing a school. There is more money in
Thank you everyone!!!
No matter what type of program you do (and I lean toward the play based too) I would not commit to the whole year and instead take it a month at a time.
Welcome to posting on the board Shyla, and
Add me to the list suggesting a play based preschool. My dd could not start preschool last fall b/c of the cutoff date, so we did a 2 yr old playgroup (Mommy & Me class) at the preschool we were considering. That turned out very well, I got to see how the school worked.
My dd is not as advanced as yours, but we chose a play based preschool over an academically focused one b/c she already has the academics down. She really needs to work on her social skills and being part of a group. My dd is 10 yrs younger than my twins. So most of the time it's just the two of us.
We had the option of placing her in a 4s class in Fall '11 instead of the 3s class which fit her age. I actually chose not to do that since so many of the kids in the playgroup are going into the 3s class and it seems like a good group of kids.
It's obvious the academics won't be an issue for your dd. I would encourage you to consider a preschool with more of an open exploration or play based curriculum rather than a school that emphasizes learning colors and shapes which would be the norm for a 3 yr old curriculum.
If you are satisfied with the Prek3 class you have chosen then leave her there. Even if she knows every academic concept they introduce, there should be lots of time for play and socializing which is even more important than letters and shapes at this age. You know your child best. Listen to your gut and your child.