A private preschool academy offering a holistic approach to child development, London Day School in suburban Morris County, NJ has taken the inspiration to give young children the most complete educational enrichment possible and turned it into a successful business plan.
The school’s mission is a focus on “the superior enrichment and education of the young child.” London Day School attempts to provide “a unique academic curriculum that fundamentally challenges and engages (its) young students, and is dedicated to enrichment, education, nurturing and social awareness.”
A hands-on approach to learning is essential to the teachings at London Day School, as well as the development of a child’s skills for thinking critically and creatively.
“When we opened up our doors in June of 2010, our vision was to provide a preschool experience that was not currently being offered,” said Danielle Lindner, the founder and director of the London Day School.
“We hoped that other parents would share in the vision that children should be challenged, engaged and excited every time they walked through our blue door, and sad to leave at the end of the day. We wanted students to become confident and strong in the basics, such as math, reading and writing, but we also wanted to make learning fun, stretch their imaginations and expose them to the arts, technology, science, literature, global learning and character education.”
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Providing a nurturing environment that can enhance kids’ ability to develop curiosity and express creativity are paramount objectives at London Day School.
“Approaching the child’s education holistically with a scaffolding approach to learning was the ultimate goal,” Lindner said. “We have done just that and more. The response to the program from both our amazing students and supportive parents has been tremendous. On any given day, you can walk through that blue door and find children, using their newly learned Spanish phrases, dissecting chocolate chip cookies as they experience what it would be like to be a paleontologist, planting seeds in the outside organic greenhouse, playing in one of the schools’ whimsical crooked houses on the playground or demonstrating a choreographed dance in the gym.”
The school has programs for children between the ages of 2 ½ and 6. In its fourth year, London Day School added to its curriculum with a full-day kindergarten program that adheres to the mission of the school, “which is to engage, excite and challenge students in a nurturing, warm and inspiring environment,” Lindner said.
London Day School’s commitment to extending its structure beyond the basics has drawn positive feedback from parents whose kids attend the campus on the border of Florham Park and Madison.
“When visiting schools in which to potentially enroll our son, we noticed that all schools appeared to teach the basics such as letter and number recognition, sound recognition, and reading. The London Day School, however, incorporated into its curriculum things that other schools did not even consider,” said one parent whose child attends the school.
“For example, the London Day School emphasizes character education, kindness, citizenship and empathy in addition to cultural appreciation, music, drama, healthy eating, physical fitness and language education. Certainly, everyone wants their children to be smart and successful. My husband and I, however, are also particularly interested in raising well-rounded children who truly care about the people and the world around them. So you can imagine our excitement when we walked into a good-natured and gentle empathy lesson during our first visit to the school. We were only more thrilled to learn that ‘empathy’ is a cornerstone of the school’s curriculum.”
All of LDS’ Teachers and Teaching Assistants are trained educators and are members of the National Association for the Education of Young Children with many years of experience teaching the best and the brightest students. The school’s entire staff is accessible to parents via phone or email and regularly communicates with parents via monthly newsletters, conferences and meetings throughout the school year.
Lindner is writing and publishing a series of “Character Education-based” picture books for children that address many of the issue and challenges children face at a young age. Her first book, “Sofia the Snail, the Little Snail that Was Afraid of the Dark” was recently published and is being used by the school to address fears kid have of the dark. Lindner has found that helping children overcome the fear of a dark room can be a daunting task for parents, making bedtime a nightly challenge. All the books in the series are available on Amazon.com. The next book in the series will be available in the next few months.
Miss Danielle’s Preschoolbuds Education & Enrichment Program, which exposes children to the everyday issues and challenges they face as preschoolers and kindergartners, was turned into a live action preschool show that can be viewed on Amazon Prime.