Kindergarten should be fun for kids! A good program will give your child an introduction to school that will give him a great start to the rest of his school years. No Kindergarten program is perfect, but some are better than others are. Choosing the right kindergarten program can be difficult. Here are some things to consider when making that choice.
Things to Look For
When choosing a Kindergarten program there are a few things you want to look for. Educators and parents agree that a good program should:
- Increase your child’s capability to learn about the world by showing them how to organize information and solve problems. This helps a child feel better about themselves, which increases his ability to work with others, and prepares him for more challenging tasks.
- Has a nice variety of formal and informal activities. Kindergarten should be a balance between child initiated and teacher initiated lessons, crafts, experiments, and projects.
- Focuses largely on play based learning instead of large group activities with a focus on sitting and listening. Large group activities should be minimal in the beginning, and increase in time throughout the year to prepare for 1st grade.
- Promote a love for books, writing, and reading. Good quality literature should be prevalent in the classroom and children should be encouraged to imagine while writing stories of their own
Things to Consider
After you have found a few programs that offer the things above, there are other considerations to keep in mind. These shouldn’t make or break your decision but are good to consider.
- Location. You will have to transport your child to school and home every day or allow them to ride a bus. If the distance is too far from where you live you may want to make sure the benefits outweigh the travel time.
- Student/Teacher ratio. A Kindergarten program may be great, but if the student/teacher ratio will be too high then your child may not receive a lot of one on one attention. Also, hands on time will be a lot higher in a classroom with fewer students. Having a teacher that is able to spend individual time or small group time with their students on a regular basis will help a child feel nurtured and increase their love for learning.
- Is there after school care? If you work full time this may be a great benefit. Most of the time these programs offer after school activities that can engage the children in learning.
Making the Choice
Once you have found a good program, and taken the above things into consideration you may want to talk to parents from the school you chose just to see how satisfied they are. They should be able to tell you things they like, and maybe don’t like about the school. This should help solidify your decision.
Once you find a kindergarten program that meets your needs, you should find out more about how to enroll and prepare your child for his next big step. Kindergarten!
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