The two entry points into elementary school are through Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Kindergarten. At CJDS, we offer both programs to ensure that your child will enter elementary school with the right level of support and challenge to succeed. The curriculum for TK and Kindergarten is guided by what is developmentally appropriate for the class.
A child’s chronological age is the age assigned upon birth. However, not all children who are five years old are developmentally ready to start kindergarten. CJDS can help you assess which path to take. We ask some basic questions about a child’s maturity, developmental readiness, and ability to learn to help us and you decide if a TK year is the best choice:
- Has the child been exposed, taught and offered opportunities to learn the letters or numbers, and still not able to demonstrate the knowledge?
- Does the child show an interest in learning so that her attention span allows her to sit for a given amount of time to benefit from instruction and guidance?
- Does the child have strong self-management skills? Will she struggle when the routines require that she put a lunchbox in one basket and a folder in another?
- Does the child work independently? Some tasks in kindergarten require a child be able to listen to directions and follow through on a task without constant support.
- Does the child make her own choices without teacher or parent interference? Has the child taken that step from “I need mommy or a teacher to guide me through everything,” or does she now have a little more confidence to say, “I think I know the right thing to do this time”
- Is the child willing to try something new and not apprehensive about new situations after a short adjustment period?
- Does the child wait her turn in a group situation at play time, during snacks, and when sharing materials?
- Does the child navigate most of her own social problems fairly successfully?
- Does the child express herself well enough to communicate what she does and does not understand?
- Does the child have strong confidence and a healthy self-esteem? If a child is not developmentally ready, and the program offers challenges, the worry will be that lack of success will negatively impact self-esteem and confidence.
No two children are alike. Even those of the same age in the same family experience growth and development at an individualized pace. Young children don’t all reach developmental stages evenly or at the same time. Not all five year olds are emotionally, socially, and physically able to do the same things. The developmental point of view requires that we see children as individuals and as whole beings.
It is important to understand that faster is not necessarily “better” and slower is not “bad.” The simple fact is that children develop at different rates. At CJDS, our TK program will provide an early entrance Kindergarten program allowing students to work on kindergarten skills at their readiness level creating a positive learning environment for the child to develop. Few children exhibit behavior that is entirely characteristic of any one developmental age. Some behaviors may be ahead of and some behind those known to be typical of an age. Each child is unique, bringing individuality to the growth process.