Kindergarten As It Should Be
ICS Lower School Principal, Dr. McCoy, took some time to address a Washington Post article titled ‘This Really Isn’t Kindergarten Anymore’.
The article reinforces Immanuel Christian School’s position on the importance of placing children in a developmentally appropriate kindergarten program in order to lay an academic, spiritual and personal foundation that will shape their school experience.
The ICS Kindergarten Philosophy
Our Kindergarten philosophy aligns to our school’s mission: to inspire purposeful lives. We believe kindergarten students learn best when they interact in a variety of ways with foundational skills that inspire them academically, spiritually and personally.
The kindergarten team embraces this philosophy by learning about the development of the child, reading about best practices for the learner and finding ways to create meaningful hands-on experiences. These experiences empower students to manage their learning with the guidance of the teachers. Kindergarten faculty members understand that each day is a new day; therefore, each day becomes an opportunity for the students to grow.
What Parents Should Know about Kindergarten
Kindergarten was designed to be a place where childhood could be experienced under the caring instruction of specialists who nurture learning through creativity and age-appropriate activities as seen through the eyes of a child.
We often remind adults that children need space and time to practice the art of living together. Kindergarten establishes certain skill sets that are fundamental to school life and this article summarizes those experiences well. Childhood is an opportunity for parents and significant others to transfer through their actions what they value most to their children.
The Effects of Stress
The negative effects of pushing students too early can be summarized in one word – STRESS. The symptoms of stress can manifest itself differently at any age. Pushing any person to do something they are not ready to physically, emotionally or intellectually handle can leave a lasting imprint. Just think back to something you were not ready to handle but someone else thought you could. What was your immediate reaction? A racing heart? Shortness of breath? Tense muscles? All of the above?
These biological responses are due, in part, to your body’s release of cortisol into your system, initiating the ‘flight or fight’ response. Cortisol interferes with learning and memory. Therefore, we carefully watch for signs of “undue stress” in our Kindergarten through 2nd grade program.
Students who are ready to learn can transfer knowledge to other areas of learning and can cope with relational misunderstandings that occur when groups build a learning community. Parents and preschool teachers should work hand in hand to create opportunities for children to talk to one another and to resolve arguments during their play.
Why Play Matters
Most of us can agree that kindergarten students come to school with great imaginations and a desire to use them! Students in kindergarten become inspired when stories are told, music is played and centers are rich with tools that spark creativity. ICS kindergarten teachers are intentional as they create play areas that align with instructional goals.
If you observe children in play you will notice how they manage their time, their environment and possibly the outcome of their time in play. Much thought goes into play that is transferred into a communicative language for those who join in on the play. Problem solving, critical thinking and social interaction become the habits of learning. Learning to manage their play eventually transfers to learning how to manage their tasks in school. Students who can manage their time on tasks and can verbalize how they do it exhibit foundation skills for academic success.
Research has shown that kindergarten readiness has a lasting effect on a student’s overall academic career. Our ICS kindergarten team remains cognizant of the vital role that they play in laying the foundation for our young scholars’ future scholastic success and enjoyment.
Click here to find out more about our kindergarten program.