The idea that your first years of education are influential to your later success, both in school and out, is nothing new. We all understand the value of providing our children with a firm foundation for their school years, but what many don’t realize is that the type of education your kindergartener receives has just as much impact as the amount of time spent in a classroom.
First Impressions Are Everything
Your child’s first impressions of school will largely be based on their experiences in kindergarten, and even preschool. These early school experiences may instill a belief in the value of education and a joy (or at least an appreciation) for learning.
As the drive for increased rigor has grown, kindergarten has become more and more focused on creating an academic foundation for students. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this focus, it’s important to recognize that kindergarteners are children. Typically five years old, they may or may not be able to tie knots and use zippers, and will have only recently mastered using the restroom. They’re closer to infancy than college, so a focus on “college readiness” isn’t exactly the most logical course of action.
If pressed too hard or given standards that aren’t developmentally appropriate, your kindergartner may develop a negative association with school based on a lack of success. Social and emotional development are typically more important at this age than academic development, so it’s important to build foundational academic skills without crushing their spirits. Learning through play and exploration provides your child with a balanced program that builds academic skills while fostering social and emotional development.
What are the benefits?
When your child’s kindergarten experience fosters creativity and exploration, they’re more likely to develop a lifelong love of learning. If kindergarten is nothing but rules and challenging tasks, they’ll quickly learn to hate school which is unfortunate since they have at least 11 more years of schooling ahead of them.
Aside from enjoying school more, studies have shown that children with strong kindergarten experiences will be more successful in school and throughout their adult lives. Not only do these kindergarteners go on to make more money, but they are also typically more successful in relationships and lead balance, responsible lives.
At St. Barnabas Episcopal school, we understand what a precious opportunity it is to educate your youngest children. This is one of the many reasons why we focus on project based learning that allows your child to learn through exploration and real life problem solving, take frequent field trips, and provide daily opportunities for unstructured play through recess. Helping your child to grow academically, emotionally, and spiritually is always our priority. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a tour.