Individual Learning Plans
We believe that the only way to educate young children is to create an individualized learning plan (ILP) for each child in our care. This is important because each child learns at their own pace and within their own interests. The opposite would be to teach the same skills at the same time to all children in a classroom where some children will be bored with the lesson because they have already mastered the material and others will be overly challenged which causes frustration and withdrawal from learning. Bal Swan uses the ILP process in conjunction with our evidence-based assessments and programs to ensure your child learns what they need to learn at the time they need to learn it.
Bal Swan partners with your family to create individual programs for each child. It starts with a home visit in August where the teacher meets your child in their environment. Your child feels their safest at home and by meeting their new teacher in this environment, it tells them that you believe their teacher is safe. Our teachers spend time playing with your children and getting to know them while you share information with them about your hopes and concerns for your child’s preschool experience. The Thursday and Friday before the fall session starts all families are invited to an open house. Here children get their first experience in their classroom with their new friends. Parents stay with them for part of the open house and then leave them for 30 minutes (for their own informational session) and then return. This helps with any separation anxiety proving to your child that mommy and daddy do come back. These two contact points really help children and parents prepare for the first day of school. We have very few children that cry on their first day and the ones who do recover very quickly.
During the home visit and the open house, parents are given information and paperwork to complete about their child’s development. These documents are used by our teachers to prepare for the first of two parent conferences during the year. During late September or early October, parents will meet with their teacher to discuss the ILP for their children. Using the documents your family has completed, the teachers and parents co-create the ILP. Teachers use the ILP to guide your child’s learning for the year; documenting progress, reporting, and making adjustments based on your child’s growth. Our teachers will email pictures and even videos demonstrating your child’s growth in these ILP areas. In late April or early May, the second parent conference will consist of updating the ILP based on the year's progress and all information will be passed on to your child’s next Bal Swan teacher. Bal Swan uses this process in conjunction will our evidence-based assessments and programs to ensure your child learns what they need to learn at the time they need to learn it.