What to Look for in a Good Kindergarten Classroom
You know you want to provide the best possible start to your child’s academic career. However, with so many options for kindergarten, how do you choose? Learn to recognize the signs of a good kindergarten to help narrow your choices.
What You Need to Know
Kindergarten is a great introduction to real school for your kids. While no classroom perfect in every way, some are better than others. Look for a program that will stimulate their growth and development, keep them curious about learning, and allow her the play time they need.
The best way to find a good program is to spend some time visiting classrooms. When you do, here’s what to look for:
- Structure and guidance. Be sure that children are busy playing or learning, rather than sitting around or wandering aimlessly.
- Variety. Kids should be exposed to different things throughout the day. Look for a classroom that encourages everything from puzzles to pretend play to reading.
- Varying degrees of attention from teachers. Rather than focusing on the entire group all day, teachers should spend time with the whole group, smaller groups, and individual children.
- Signs of completed projects. Is the classroom decorated with kids’ paintings, stories, tests, and stories? This is a great indicator of what your child will learn and a sign that he’ll be encouraged to complete short- and long-term projects.
- Education based on everyday experiences. Kids learn best when things make sense to them. Look for a program that teaches about nature by taking care of animals and numbers by allowing them to take attendance.
How You Can Help
There’s a lot of pressure on parents today to get their kids enrolled in the “best” kindergarten programs so they’re better prepared for the higher grades. However, it shouldn’t be that hard to find a good school that keeps your child safe, engaged, and active. Here are some tips to find the best program for your child:
- Get to know the teacher. You wouldn’t trust a nanny or babysitter you don’t know, so don’t put your child in the hands of a teacher you’ve never met. Many teachers are preparing for their students the week before school starts. Use this time to go visit them in the classroom and get to know them.
- Remember that your kids have plenty of time to prep for college. Right now, they’re still children, so look for a program that allows them to learn and play. Ask the teachers how much time they allow for play, rather than just questioning them about reading, writing, and math.
- Take your children to visit a variety of kindergartens. Not all programs are right for all kids. Give them the opportunity to see what’s out there and observe what type of environment makes them happiest. When in doubt, ask your kids what they liked and disliked about each program.
For more signs of a good kindergarten, check out our full article:
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