Well, it is almost that time of year again: back to school time. For many of you, your preschooler is now ready to go to kindergarten. Is she prepared? Better yet, are you? I am not ready for my oldest to be old enough for kindergarte. Luckily, I have one more year to prepare for it. They do grow up fast, don’t they?
If your child is on her way to kindergarten for the first time, and you are wondering if her class is going to be a good one, I suggest you take into consideration the following signs from the
National Association for the Education of Young Children. These signs will give you evidence as to whether or nor the classroom your child is in, is a good kindergarten class.
1. Children are not wandering around the room looking for something to do. Instead, they are playing or working with materials along with other children.
2. Children have access to several different activities throughout the school day. They shouldn’t be doing the same thing all day long.
3. Teachers should be doing individualized and small group instruction along with whole group instruction. It should not be entire group instruction the entire day.
4. Is there pictures and artwork from the children decorating the classroom? Stories that the teacher has written using the children’s words?
5. Children learn numbers, days of the weeks, etc through everyday experiences. They learn cooking, nature, helping the teacher with her daily duties (attendance, passing out papers.
6. Do the children have long enough stretches of playtime? Are they working on projects rather than continuous paper and pencil work?
7. Are children allowed to play outside, if the weather permits? Instruction time should not overtake the need to run and jump and play for children this young.
8. Teachers should read books throughout the day, not just one time.
9. Curriculum is adapted for faster learners and is adapted for those who need extra assistance.
10. Children, after the normal initial apprehension, should enjoy going to school and parents should feel good about sending them there.
Every classroom will be different, but it is important to remember the focus of the kindergarten classroom should be on what is best for your child.