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Les Ateliers Autonomes / Self-Learning Workshops

In the self-learning workshops, the goal is for the children to work independently on a task without the help of an adult. The students are encouraged to make their own choices, set up their activity, remember the task, carry it out, validate it by themselves, and then with the teacher put all of the materials used away.

The method of the exercise evolves as the preschool students grow up but the rules remain the same:

  • One activity per child (except if it is a game)
  • Each student has to wait for his/her turn to take the materials
  • The room must be quiet so everybody can work
  • When the activity is finished, the student has to clean up and put everything back in its place
  • The activity must be completed

For the teacher, this approach means fewer interruptions, quality time to observe students, and an ability to tailor the next activities in an individualized fashion — helping a student who needs more steps to succeed or pushing further a student who is ready for more.

The benefits for the students are that they have fun, learn to work by themselves, are forced to be organized, need to concentrate, and respect the rules and steps in the process. It is also an opportunity to progress at their rhythm, with a focus on themselves without comparing with peers.