Kindergarten: ready or not?

Here are some simple  guidelines to decide if your child is kindergarten-ready. Starting kindergarten is one of the biggest milestones in a child’s life. Here are some tips to help you decide whether your child will be socially, academically and physically prepared to start  school. School cut-off dates School districts around the country differ widely in their cut-off dates for students entering kindergarten, a factor that is certain to cause confusion for parents, especially those moving from one state to another, or considering private as well as public school. Your child may be deemed ready in one state or type of school but not in another. In most states, a child must reach the age of 5 for public school, but the birth date can range from June 1 to December 31. To find out the cut-off date in your state, visit this kindergarten cut-off dates by state website. Experts  suggest that parents look beyond their child’s chronological age when enrolling him/her in kindergarten. Development and maturity play a huge part in making a decision weather your child is ready for Kindergarten or not. If the cut off date is September, summer birthday children are advised by most districts, to “wait” before entering Kindergarten. Another year of development can make a huge difference in a child’s life and in his/her future education. The advantage to being the oldest in the class verses the youngest gives children the greatest advantage for success. How do I know if my child is ready? There isn’t just one indicator that determines whether your child is ready for kindergarten. Experts agree that a child’s...

Is your Child ready for Kindergarten?

Kindergarten Readiness Checklist To be successful in school, children need to be supported and nurtured in all areas of development. With the Montessori approach,  development is the main focus when it comes to Kindergarten readiness.  It is very  important that your child is physically, socially and emotionally ready for Kindergartenl. This checklist can help serve as your guide. But please remember, development is a nature process that can not be hurried or pushed. I happens naturally. Montessori schools ask parents to consider these  questions when it comes to Kindergarten readiness. Physical Skills Does your child…  have strong motor strength, large and small? enjoy outdoor play such as running, jumping, and climbing; write his/her name and attempt to copy words? identify and draw and trace basic shapes; cut with scissors following lines; bounce a ball; or ride a tricycle? Tips to help your child with physical skills Materials that will help your child develop the small motor skills needed to learn to write include manipulatives such as legos, building materials, pegs, twisting activities using jars and lids, puzzles, practical life activities, scooping, tonging, pouring as well as crayons, markers, pencils, glue, scissors, paper and paint. Activities that will help your child’s Large Motor include climbing, jumping, skipping, playing ball, using playground equipment and riding a tricycle. Health and Safety Needs Has your child… had required shots; had a dental exam; had a vision exam; learned own first and last name; learned first and last name of parent; learned to watch for cars when crossing the street; learned to not talk to strangers; developed a set routine for going to bed;...

Pre-Kindergarten

The child returning to the program for his second or third year is now ready to move more into the academic areas. Concentration continues to develop and a child can now focus for a longer period of time. They become more social and want to do work with their friends. In the Language area, Pre-Kindergarteners begin to recognize and identify initial letter sounds. Usually by the end of the school year they are fairly solid in these letter sounds and can match pictures to sounds easily. More writing and copying words is encouraged. Pre-Kindergarteners spend a lot of time making nomenclature books such as parts of a gerbil, parts of a tree, parts of a fish etc.. In these books children color in the part and write the word. There are many of these books in the Science and Geography areas. This helps the child gain a deeper understanding of the animal, plant or continent and help develops writing skills. Pre-Kindergarteners also begin flag collections. The children color 5 flags from each continent and write the name of the country to make a book. This book is put in their collection. They work on this throughout the year and take their collection home at the end of the school year. In Math they become solid in 1-10 and move on to counting chains, which teach linear counting up to 1000. They become solid in base 10 and can begin to think more abstractly. Overall children of this age become more aware and are taking in a lot of information in the classroom on a deeper level of understanding than...

Kindergarten

The Kindergarten year at Farmview Montessori is usually the third year (four for some) for students who have stayed throughout the entire program. Because Maria Montessori observed that children developed in three year cycles, she saw this year as the year that children reap the benefit of all their hard work from the past two or three years. This is the year where everything comes together for the children. It is also the year that parents get their return on their financial investment in Montessori education. The Kindergarteners here at Farmview are the leaders and role models in the classroom. The younger children look up to them and look forward to the day when they get to be a Kindergartener themselves. They have special responsibilities and jobs. They feed the animals in the Science room, set the table at Holidays parties, have lunch jobs and help straighten up the classroom at the end of class. Farmview Kindergarteners go on three extra field trips through out the school year as part of the Kindergarten program. These field trips pertain to subjects that they have studied in the classroom. The curriculum for the Kindergarteners is an enrichment of academics as well as a deeper level of understanding of all areas of the classroom. Kindergarteners still enjoy all the art and practical life activities. These “works” are calming and relaxing after spending a long period of time on challenges in the academic areas. At our school we want to retain the holistic approach to children’s development. At this level, children still need work on social skills, problem solving, confidence and self-esteem. A...

Pre-School

The preprimary or preschool program usually starts with a child at two and a half or three years of age. Children work on basic skills that will be needed for the academic areas. It is working through the Practical Life area, Art area and the Sensorial area that children work on their independence, large and small muscles strength, how to order and complete a work cycle and most importantly their concentration and focus. A first year or a young second year student learns the rules of the classroom, how to follow directions from a teacher and develops listening skills. Children also learn social skills and problem solving. Children are encouraged to use their words and express themselves to their peers. Academically, children of this age learn beginning writing skills, introduction to 1-10 activities and identification of rhyming sound and initial sounds. They gain some knowledge of animals and plants, as well as planets, continents and countries. “Respect all the reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand them.” Maria...