Is Junior Kindergarten a Good Fit for My Child?
As we transition our kindergarten programming from a full-day to a junior kindergarten offering, I find myself reflecting on why this move makes sense and what it provides for children.
You might ask yourself as a parent: is junior kindergarten a good fit for my child and our family? My response is that junior kindergarten should be a place for children to learn a little bit more about being in school. Children spend many years in school; going to school is their job throughout childhood. The right junior kindergarten program will start your child off on a positive note and set the stage for how he or she feels about being in school. It will help your child feel safe and confident and develop social, emotional and beginning academic skills. This learning about how to be a student sets your child up for success later in school.
A strong junior kindergarten program will also provide your child with a warm, comforting environment in which to learn and explore. Learning how to be in school is about being comfortable while exploring – and developing the ability to ask questions.
How do we as a school develop a warm, comforting environment? We start with teachers who are well-educated and well-versed in early childhood education. Strong, caring teachers set the tone and create the environment for exploration through sensory learning, language arts, social studies, math and science – the pillars of a school curriculum. We keep class sizes small to ensure enough room for one-on-one and small group activities, true confidence builders and important tools for the transition to life in school. While doing this, we remain focused on what we think is the key component for a successful junior kindergarten program: a warm, home-like setting, where children can feel safe and empowered as they explore. It is that simple: when children feel comfortable in their exploration and can ask questions, they become confident learners for years to come.