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Kindergarten is one of the most important school years. It is the time when a child's motivation is at it's highest and when environmental factors that impede later educational progress have not yet taken their toll. The combination of enthusiasm and ability that is characteristic of the Kindergarten child is rarely equated in subsequent years.
The foundation of future academic success is laid during the kindergarten year. Basic readiness skills become part of a child's repertoire. Attitudes toward school and learning are formed and interpersonal and linguistic abilities are put to the test within the context of a cultural institution. A child who experiences a productive and enjoyable Kindergarten year is well on the way to a successful experience.
There are two schools of thought concerning Kindergarten education. One of these, the traditional informal approach, is based on the premises that an unstructured environment will promote the common knowledge as a consequence of observing and participating in natural activities. The second approach is a more formal, and comprises focused academic activities. Learning to Learn and skill mastery are the goals of this method. At O.L.B.S. our program is based on the formal method of Kindergarten education where pre-academic skills are taught.
Our reasons for this emphasis are as follows:
- Incidental learning of affective and linguistic skills, the goals of traditional instruction, can be brought about by many experiences. Pre-academic skills on the other hand, are rarely learned incidentally, and require direct instruction.
- Direct pre-academic skill instruction appears to bring about better cognitive growth than does traditional instruction. At O.L.B.S. we have set up an instructional program in religion, reading/language arts, mathematics, social studies, art, computers, music and physical education.