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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
Playhouse is a cooperative pre-school, but it is so much more. It is a community, a place where parents too can learn. There is so much more to early years education and the effects on the child that a holistic approach is essential. Children can learn, and adults can understand their options and structure. The book, named after this school for obvious reasons, discusses the school philosophy, the experiences of the people running it and what influences them, and how they apply what they have learnt through life for the betterment of those under their own care.
As Monica Taylor reminds us, Pete Seeger once said, "The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known." And this book contains a number of such stories from the lives of those involved with this school. It contains several chapters of information, intermingled with real life experience stories written from the perspective of Monica, a teacher and parent. Whether your child is already in pre-school or not, this book is worth a read. The knowledge within can be applied and considered throughout the whole parenting journey. Yes, it is a book about the school, but most of what is included has more applications. It is only as you read this book that you come to understand its diversity. It is not about selling the school to people who are looking, but about bringing important considerations to the forefront of their minds.
Playhouse starts by telling the reader a lot about the school, how it was formed, why it became what it is etc. Playhouse offers insights into what questions should be asked and what considerations should be given. The chapters continue to discuss the school's mission, ethics and principles, the importance of their curriculum, and ways of nurturing a child and helping them to grow, even how some teachers' own experiences and observations had an effect on how they themselves teach and interact. My own son has just started Reception (Pre-Kindergarten in the US structure), and this book has certainly opened my eyes. This school is obviously not an option for me, given my geographic location, but regardless of this, I am so glad I picked this book up. The insights and information into applications of learning, support etc will help me to become a better parent. After all, every parent is a teacher to their own child, and some of the information within is valuable indeed. It's a great piece to promote the school, but an even better one to remind us of the importance and responsibilities of being a parent, and how what we do directly impacts our child.