By Rachel Weaver M.Ed.
Kindergarten is the first year of “real” school for kids and parents may be apprehensive about choosing the best environment for their child to thrive. In a nurturing, child-centered kindergarten class with a low teacher-to-child ratio, like our microK class, the teacher can create unique lessons and experiences to meet individual children’s needs.
At LRS microSchool, kindergarteners are busily engaged during the entire school day in hands-on lessons. In the classroom, the teacher introduces sequential reading concepts grounded in the multi-sensory Orton-Gillingham philosophy. A research-based phonemic awareness curriculum, Heggerty, is used daily to help children develop a foundational understanding of the English language. Parents always know exactly what to practice at home, as assignments and materials are given each week. Fun and engaging weekly stories are also provided for children to practice at school and at home.
During math, children learn and review key concepts through games, challenges, and by utilizing math manipulatives. A workbook that corresponds with classroom learning is also provided so that children can further explore math concepts in the home environment. Additionally, the teacher also suggests hands-on math enrichment games and activities that children can enjoy with their families.
Daily science lessons are guided by the children’s interests, and involve engaging materials to aid children in making discoveries about their world. Weekly social studies lessons enable children to practice social skills, and expand their understanding of community helpers, beginner economics, beginner geography, and the state of Pennsylvania.
In addition to the core subjects, time is made for gross-motor breaks, structured activities in the gym, art projects as an extension of other areas of the curriculum, and a little free play with Kindergarten friends at the end of the school day.
With such low numbers, the teacher is able to meet individually with each child to provide instruction and encouragement. Communication between home and school includes weekly progress updates, as well as lesson summaries that give insight into the kindergartener’s day. Stressful testing scenarios and unrealistic expectations that all children will learn at the same pace are avoided, while individual learning progress is valued. Fostering an encouraging, engaging, learning environment, is the priority in Kindergarten.