Across the country, there is increasing pressure on families to ensure that their children are ready for school. The question that we hear quite frequently is “What do children truly need to ensure that they are successful in Kindergarten and beyond?”
Many families with young children believe that preparing children for school means that children have to know their colors, shapes, letters and numbers. While it is essential that children have active experiences with these concepts, research tells us there are other things that are more important predictors of school success.
Studies reveal that there are seven key ingredients for school readiness. Our programs prepare your child for Kindergarten by instilling each of these seven ingredients or traits:
- Confidence: We want your child to feel assured of what he is capable of, and ready to confront the challenges that he might find. That is why we focus on successes by saying things like “You worked really hard on getting that tube into that opening. You twisted it and finally got it to fit. You are a smart problem-solver.”
- Curiosity: It is not only our job to teach, but to ignite in children the desire to learn. We want to instill in your child an insatiable desire to know “why” and to figure out more about the world. You will hear us starting conversations with “What do you think would happen if…” or “I wonder…” when we are in the science area or constructing something.
- Purpose: We believe that children need to be able to make a plan and take actions to make that plan happen. This is why we involve your child in simple tasks like setting the table or putting blocks back on the shelf, encouraging math skills like one-to-one correspondence and understanding more or less than.
- Self-control: Children who have the ability to recognize and regulate their emotions are much more likely to be successful in-group learning environments. We help your child recognize and understand his emotions, as well as discover appropriate ways to express them.
- Relationships: Successful children have a sense that they are part of a community, and that they are connected to other people. This is why we create a classroom community where your child has a sense of belonging.
- Communication: The ability to receive and share ideas is a key factor in the future educational success of a child. For example, while journaling and reading books with your child, we ask open-ended questions to start conversations — these are questions that cannot be answered with a simple one-word answer or with a nod or shake of the head.
- Cooperation: The ability to get along with others is vital for a child’s success in Kindergarten, elementary school, and beyond. We encourage and acknowledge cooperation as your child works with others on a project or to complete a task.
Our programs and our teachers are devoted to instilling these traits in every child because we know how important they are for success in Kindergarten and beyond — in school and in life.