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Kindergarten “Die Lütten”

Children want to learn

Three days after their fourth birthday, Catharina-Amalia, the youngest daughter of the dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife Máxima, started their school. Mom and dad brought their child to the Bloemcamp-School in Wassenaar – a ritzy suburb of The Hague. She hangs up her red jacket and stores her school belongings. Princess Máxima hugged her daughter on last, before she gave to the supervision of a proud teacher. This is nothing unusual, but common practice in the Netherlands: students are brought to school one day after their fourth birthday. There is not a central day for everyone to start school. The basis for this practice is that at the age of four, children “are as open as a barn’s gate for what happens around them” as psychologist Franz Mönks from Nijmegen once put it. Children can and want to learn! Want to know what significance letters and numbers have, and it is not work for them to get engaged in learning. This is why we offer early education in our Day Care.


Daily Routine in our Day Care


“Die Lütten” – playing and learning

The early shift in our Day Care is from 7:30 until 8:00 am. This is when the children can arrive at our school. The day begins at 8:00 am with the morning circle, where the children narrate, discuss, sing, read, and play. At 8:30, our “Lütten” have breakfast. Between Breakfast and lunch at 12:00 are two learning unit, with an intermission play break. Lunch is followed with one more learning unit and ends in play time. Day Care ends at 3:00 pm, but we do offer one group until 5:00 pm. Two hours each day, the children are supervised by English speaking teacher and only speak English based on the principle “one person – one language”.


Curriculum for our “Lütten”


Michael Winterhoff’s Conclusions

Concentration, desire for learning and respect for adults

No concentration, no desire to learn, no respect for adults – such are the accusation against many children and young people today. Parents, grandparents, and teachers are responsible for this. This is what bestselling author Michael Winterhoff (58) says in his book “SOS Kinderseele” (Bertelsmann, 17.99 €). The well-known education consultant from Bonn was already a guest at a Leibniz evening in Elmshorn and after his stay at the school, he concluded: “There should be schools like this across Germany.”

Why your child needs a teacher-centered lesson:

Primary schools see children increasingly as small adults. The teacher is only supposed to be a learning companion, the children use the “learning point”. The child does not bind him/herself to the teacher. Due to the lack of bonding, the motivation is lost – the child does not like to learn. A six-year-old also learns to seek confirmation from the teacher. Children need a teacher-centered teaching for their development. The teacher must serve as a constant orientation.

Don’t Avoid Conflicts:

Today, parents and grandparents are often afraid of conflicts, for the fear of loss of affection from their children, when they insist on a “No”. The child develops into a egoist who finds it difficult if his/her will is not immediately satisfied. This creates problems down the road, when they have to compromise in hierarchical structures or partnerships. A child cannot get everything! There are limits such as: “Today you must not watch TV.” This steering gives the children protection and strengthens the bond.

Don’t park children in front of the TV:

Children are “too often” left to the television, iPad or Smartphone. The child finds what is seen exciting, clicks on the screen – but the flashing lights and fast movements often lead to a stimulus overflow, because the brain responds diffusely. Technical devices cannot replace the parenting. Time with the parents (e.g. reading or talking about the day) should always have constitute the majority of a day.

Not always getting involved:

The pressure they have on their own often frightens parents, when they fear bad grades for their children at school projecting the failure onto themselves. Parents are increasingly complaining to teachers, school leaders, and even school officials. The child learns, however, that it is not responsible for its lack of performance. Parents should respect teachers and not interfere. A matter-of-fact conversation is okay. But: no accusations!

The child is not a partner on even level

Many parents consider their children as partners. They treat them as equals, and let them decide too much. The child’s psyche can not develop properly, the child feels overwhelmed, learns no social competence, because it does not have to adapt. Childhood is the only time we have no responsibility. Children can try out, but are still protected by the adults. But to enjoy this freedom, it must also be clear that the parents provide guidance and authority.

Do not transfer catastrophe modus onto the children:

Many adults today live in the digital society, from one moment to the next, and themselves have little structure. In short: they are in a permanent “disaster mode”. The child becomes frantic, and unaware of structured expectations. The child psyche is oriented towards the adult counterpart. A child should therefore experience his/her parents as self-contained, constant and structured individuals. Try not to transfer your stress to the children.

Children need clear times and clear procedures:

Children, at home and in day-care centers, are increasingly able to decide when to eat, when to play, when to read, and when to learn. The teachers only make offers. At school, many of these children do not manage to sit still for 45 minutes. Children need clear times and workflows, provided by the adults – teachers and parents alike. For example, there should be fixed eating times.

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