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Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized |

A Child’s Garden of Learning

Young children in kindergarten are beginning the greatest adventure of their young lives. The purpose and aim of kindergarten is to acquaint young children with a rich, meaningful, and balanced set of skills and activities taught in a way that entices them to want to learn and experience more. With this in mind, here are a few important skills and activities taught in a good kindergarten:

Reading and Writing

  • Alphabet: reciting the alphabet, recognizing the letters when written, and writing the alphabet
  • Words: learning some short, three-letter words and recognizing them in books
  • Text: recognizing that words in a book are written in a sequence that progresses from left to right
  • Name: recognizing their own name when written

Mathematics

  • Numbers: learning numbers in sequence from one to ten and beyond
  • Counting: reciting the sequence of objects and steps as they build things, play, and dance
  • Measuring: learning about size and volumes with rulers and containers

Science

  • Observation: using the five senses to gather information
  • Communication: talking about the information that can be seen, heard, tasted, smelled, and felt

Art

  • Colors: knowing the names of basic colors. 
  • Drawing: telling a story with a pencil or marker
  • Painting: telling a story with a paint brush and paint
  • Shapes: learning basic shapes like a circle, square, triangle, and rectangle
  • Illustrations: recognizing the visual images in books 

Music

  • Singing: learning and singing songs (like the alphabet song) that reinforce other lessons
  • Dancing: learning dance steps in coordination with other children
  • Listening: recognizing the sounds of musical instruments and knowing their names

Communication

  • Stories: learning to communicate experiences and information by telling stories
  • Rhymes: learning nursery rhymes and poems and reciting them in unison with others students

Hand-Eye Coordination

  • Building blocks: stacking and constructing objects, areas, and enclosures with wooden blocks
  • Coloring: staying within the lines of a drawing to colorize familiar objects

Social Skills

  • Sharing: learning to share all toys, tools, books, and objects in school
  • Listening: learning to be quiet and listen to the teacher and other students as each expresses their ideas
  • Taking turns: learning to wait patiently until it is their turn to participate
  • Working with others: cleaning up, putting away toys and tools, and maintaining the order of the school room
  • Waiting in line: recognizing a queue and following behind other students
  • Equality: learning that all children are equal without regard to race, gender, or looks

Play

  • Physical exercise: playing with others in coordinated activities and games that emphasize sharing and participating
  • Games: holding and tossing a ball and playing tag and hide and seek in structured games with other students

These skills and activities are essential for learning all subsequent subjects taught in grammar school, high school, and college. A wise parent will acquaint their young children with many of these skills and activities before they begin kindergarten so that when they are introduced to them again, they will recognize them and feel confident about participating in the lessons. 

The word “kindergarten” means “a child’s garden,” and today’s kindergarten sews the seeds of life-long learning into the brains and hearts of young students. An excellent kindergarten program will include all of the above lessons and more.

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