The early years are more critical than educators ever realized before, with reading skills set on their path by age 3. The Children’s Reading Foundation brought this to the fore in recent years. Thus, we offer not only kindergarten but also early kindergarten. The latter class is suited to students with skills such as early reading, of a nominal age of 4 years at the beginning of the academic year, though we have no firm age cutoffs in any of our grades. EK students participate in classes with the kindergarten students in the morning, departing at noon – either 11:45 when classes end or 12:30 when recess and lunch end.
Teacher Katie Bushma brings with her degree in early childhood education, with a valuable minor in psychology, and much classroom experience during her degree studies. Students are immersed in a program covering:
- English, including phonics, spelling, reading, and reading comprehension. Arielle reads to students; several students read to the other students.
- Handwriting – augmenting their language skills, students learn handwriting, in the D’Nealian method.
- Spanish – Arielle introduces elements of Spanish, from vocabulary to early grammar. Students read, act, and listen to stories in Spanish.
- Chinese – kindergarteners go to class with acclaimed teacher Yulin Zhang, in the purple class for first-time learners of Mandarin.
- Mathematics – students work on fundamental skills in number recognition and arithmetic operations, both written and oral. They use many manipulatives as well as the Singapore math books.
- Our world, a melange of science and social studies. Katie presents topics in an order than keeps student interested, moving, for example, from the geology and geography of continents and oceans to astronomy – the planets by name, order, and orbital period; stars from birth to death; constellations – to how plants develop and grow
- Music, learning about musical instruments of the world, international songs, tones (arranging tonal bells and matching their voices to bells), and dance. Videos supplement classroom resources.
- Art – students gain an eye for color, manual skills in construction, and joy in art through, frequently drawing and making 3-D constructions.
- Physical education – play in the courtyard encompasses running, climbing, and ball games
Students transition to grades 1 & 2 taught by Arielle Evans. Arielle has experience in the Montessori system. She has taught LCA students earlier as their early K / K teacher, with notable success. Please see the page on grades 1 & 2 for more details.