The lessons a child learns in kindergarten can last a lifetime. That’s why it is so important to ensure that your child’s kindergarten has everything required to make those lessons count.
Kindergarten is an important first step in transitioning out of toddlerhood and preschool, and into the “big kid” phase - ready to learn and take on new challenges. For parents, that means finding a school that will best suit their child during this milestone time, one with an environment that will spark creativity and inspire confidence to explore new things and encourage him/her to ask questions about the world.
Before you start your kindergarten search, it helps to know exactly what to look for. Here are some important steps to take during your search for the best education possible for your little one and your family as a whole.
1. Identify Your Educational Philosophy
When searching for the right kindergarten for your young learner, it may help to sit down and ask yourself a few difficult questions about your beliefs and goals for your child’s education:
- What do you value most in your child’s education?
- Do you think education should be curriculum or student-centered?
- Would you like your child to learn through play and exploration or be directed to mastery through guidance?
Seeking out a school with core values that mirror your own will ensure that you and your child’s kindergarten teachers can easily remain on the same page when it comes to their education. It also helps build a relationship of trust between you and the kindergarten staff.
When you are able to see eye-to-eye about the most vital principles of early childhood education, you can feel at ease when entrusting them with the care of your 5-year-old.
At World Academy, our philosophy focuses on the development of the “whole” child and is a guiding principle throughout all of our educational processes. Our goal is to nurture and enhance the cognitive/intellectual, physical, socio-emotional, cultural and creative development of our students, helping each child to acquire a strong foundation to achieve optimal personal success.
We focus on providing an in-depth curriculum, small classes and an inspired staff with an emphasis on excellence in education, student empowerment, diversity, values and the attainment of conflict resolution and negotiation skills. With these lessons in hand, our students are better positioned to move beyond kindergarten and head into first and second grade with confidence and the skills they need to flourish.
2. Look For Balance In The Classroom
Typically, five and six-year-olds are just beginning their journey through a broad range of important developments. They are expanding their language skills to include reading and writing, improving their grasp on counting, all while tending to learn best through physical and dramatic play.
An effective educational curriculum should maintain a balance between several different educational focal points to best meet the needs of this age. Academic learning, socio-emotional development, and physical play must all be addressed with equal enthusiasm to provide a well-rounded, comprehensive experience for these young minds.
We believe in feeding kindergartener’s curiosity and insatiable desire to learn while balancing their status as vibrant, active doers. World Academy’s kindergarten program invites children to work cooperatively, encouraging a sense of “we-ness” in the classroom while also placing a strong emphasis on language and math skills.
By guiding children through many aspects of learning together, educators can help young learners develop critical communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creative skills, holistically, through each and every engaging activity.
A high-quality kindergarten program should be enriched with classes like Music, Physical Education, Visual Arts, Technology, and World Languages - all critical elements of our “whole child” educational focus. By providing this balance, educators can be sure all kindergarten graduates move on to Grade 1 with a diverse, comprehensive education.
3. Weigh Your Family’s Needs
Every family is different. Each one runs on its own schedule and operates on a unique set of needs. Ensuring that the needs of your family can be met by the school you select is essential to providing your kindergartener with a healthy, home supported educational experience.
Before choosing a school, take some time to picture the practical realities of sending your child there. What does the morning commute look like? Who will be transporting them to and from school? Who will care for them outside of school hours? What will your financial situation look like?
If your answers to these questions depict a day-to-day schedule that you can handle, then the school in question might be a fitting option. If a few of your answers give you pause, however, you’ll have to consider whether or not your family will be able to accommodate this decision.
Providing your child with a positive educational experience is important, but making choices that will ensure the happiness and overall well-being of your family is just as vital. Scheduling difficulties can be a source of struggle with many families. Your choice of kindergarten should help students achieve the education they deserve without putting undue strain on families. They do this by offering many options to support families.
For example: in order to best accommodate families that have responsibilities outside of school hours, World Academy offers AM & PM Care for kindergarten students. Our before- and after-school programs are intended to assist families with busy schedules while also enriching the students beyond the classroom. They are given the chance to play outside, partake in arts & crafts activities, and socialize with their peers under the supervision of our dedicated staff.
Stress at home too often translates into stress at school. By supporting our community of families with the options and flexibility they need, we are able to ensure a higher degree of student success.
4. Listen To What Other Parents Are Saying
Weighing your options can be a difficult process, and it can help to speak to someone who was once in the very same position. If you have the chance to interact with parents that have opted for a school you’re considering, take it!
A great way to begin the dialogue is to strike up a conversation with parents at a local community event, or chat with someone at a PTO meeting. Ask them what led to their decision and what their thoughts are about the school since enrolling their child. What do they like? What do they dislike? How does their child feel about it? It’s a great way to get an opinion about the school and generate an accurate expectation of what life would be like after your child is enrolled. It is important to keep in mind; however, the frame of reference of those you speak with. There may be things that didn’t work well for them that could be great your you and your family. You are now empowered with additional insights to check out!
Some of our proudest moments come from parents here at World Academy who are kind enough to pass on their thoughts from their past, present, and continued time in our community. Here are just a few examples of what our World Academy families have to say about our curriculum, teachers, facilities, and overall student experience:
5. Don’t Wait - Schedule A Visit!
While planning and research may be hugely important to selecting the right kindergarten for your child, the best thing you can do during your school search is to see the classroom in action.
During a facility tour, parents can put real context to all of the research conducted online and heard from other parents. A school visit also provides the opportunity to interact with teachers and see firsthand how students respond to the curriculum. Taking a peek at the school that could be your child’s educational home for years to come is an important step towards making a monumental decision, so don’t be shy!Your questions are always welcome at World Academy, where we are able to conduct tours at your convenience and when the major aspects of the curriculum and programming are able to be seen, first-hand. Stop by, say hello, and see the world of opportunity we offer our students from early childhood through Grade Eight. Schedule a tour today!