Kindergarten has changed, or has it? Experts would argue that expectations of young children have changed. We now use words like “more rigorous” and “higher expectations” as we refer to our kindergarten programs. But for the young child, the real “work” of kindergarten remains the same, regardless of the time frame:
- I must learn to manage my own physical needs; toileting, zipping, buttoning, hand washing
- I must learn to manage my own body, keeping it where it belongs in the story circle or work table
- I must run, jump and play outside to build strong muscles and make brain connections
- I must learn to get along with others
- I must learn to share my teacher’s attention
- I must learn to use kind words and express my feelings in a safe way
- I must learn that others have rights too, and I can’t always be first
- I must learn that books give me access to new worlds
- I must learn to pay attention to important ideas and explore materials independently
- And I must be ready for new information and ideas as the teacher provides learning opportunities.
Children who are enrolled in high quality full day Kindergarten programs simply get more time for this learning. Teachers have more time with each child, individualizing for success. Teachers also have an opportunity to meet with each family before school starts to really target educational needs. What a great time for sharing!
Watch for your school’s Kindergarten enrollment dates. They are coming soon!
Parents in the Richland School District can register their child for Kindergarten at their neighborhood school. For more information visit RSD.edu.