The Importance of a Home-like Environment in Early Childhood Education

It’s no secret that children largely feel most at home, when they’re at home! The home is where most of your young child’s developmental milestones are made and where they make the most early memories, and this naturally gives your child an attachment to the place they call home. This, as many parents know, is all-too-evident when the time comes for them to start attending daycare or preschool — your child’s first few days or weeks away from home for up to 10 hours a day can be scary.

But one way Early Childhood Education centers are combatting the scariness of being away from home, is by bringing the look, feel and experience of home to school! By giving children a home-like environment to learn and play in, we believe they can enjoy several benefits that may aid them in numerous areas of early development. Here are three key reasons why we love our home-like feel here at The Big Red Barn.

Creating a Familiar, Inviting Environment

Your home is your kid’s first ever frame of reference. It’s the first truly familiar environment they’ll ever know, and their young minds will inevitably compare many places they go, to how things are at home. This is a big part of the reason your child may feel comfortable at, for example, a friend’s or their grandparents’ house, but not at a typical daycare.

By carefully crafting a space that feels like and is structured similarly to the home, kids may find themselves warming up to a new space more quickly than they might have otherwise. Instead of walking into a big, imposing building with bright tile floors and buzzing fluorescent lights, at The Big Red Barn, your child will walk into a space that’s warm, cozy, and most importantly, homey! We took great care to design an Early Learning Center that’s both conducive to learning and friendly + inviting. We believe that this can help your child overcome their new-school jitters quicker, and start learning and forming bonds faster!

Building Off Of Their Already-Established Habits & Routines

What does your child do when it’s time to put away their toys? Gather them up and put them in the toybox, right? So why not do the same at school!

At an Early Learning Center with a home-like environment, your child will be able to build off of the good habits, routines and structures they enjoy and benefit from at home so they can start forming the groundwork of big kid habits and routines, earlier. Going back to the example of the toybox: when, for example, it comes time to clean up toys after an open play session, your child may take what home life has already taught them about cleaning up, and blend it with new concepts they learn at school — like cooperation, kind manners, and listening skills. In this way, children take simpler concepts and use them as vehicles to learn newer, more complex and abstract concepts. In a nutshell, we feel that capitalizing on what your kid already knows and is familiar with, can be a great way to teach them new things in turn!

A More Wholesome & Holistic Space

As previously touched on, a home-like feel or aesthetic can help ease young children’s fears, but that’s far from the only upside of having a classroom that looks and feels like home! In an Early Learning Center like ours, we go out of our way to ensure that our kiddos get all the benefits of home when they enter our classrooms.

What’s one thing your child’s home likely has? Natural light! We have windows of familiar, bedroom-like shapes in every classroom, and kept open so as to let as many cheerful rays in as we can. Wood is also a mainstay of many homes, very possibly yours as well, and that’s part of the reason we’ve given all our classrooms hardwood flooring — to better evoke the feeling of being home (and what barn would be complete without wood accents!). These are just a couple things have added or have done here at the Barn to help keep things feeling welcoming and warm.

Another part of our core philosophy is the idea that children should transition between settings as little as possible, so as to keep them feeling focused and well-grounded throughout the day. Having our classrooms feel like home is a natural extension of that philosophy, why make your child transition from home and school, when they could just as easily transition between home and a second home! This can help your child overcome their fear of change and new spaces quicker, but also subconsciously encourages lessons and concepts learned at home to be recalled and used during schooltime, and vice-versa.