My Kindergarten philosophy

Although my methods have changed some throughout the years, my goal for Kindergarten has been the same with all four of my children:

Make school fun.

It’s the first year of “formal” school, and while I know they’ll learn loads of new things along the way, the most important thing I want them to pick up on is this:

 Learning is enjoyable!

Loving learning!

Let your child be the teacher sometimes! (Visuals are from Keeping Life Creative.)

If I push too hard and teach them that academic learning is drudgery, they’ll pay for it for years to come, and so will I. So why not take this year to set the stage so they can be lifelong learners–and love the process?

That means I don’t necessarily push them to their maximum learning potential during Kindergarten (although, in all future school years, I do!) In other words, I don’t give them the hardest work they can handle. I give them FUN learning opportunities, challenging enough to be interesting, but never to the point of frustration. That will come later {wink} once they have already established a love for the outcome of the challenge of learning.

It also means we spend time every day doing FUN, hands-on activities TOGETHER, instead of me parking them in front of a stack of boring worksheets…even when they can read well, and even when they CAN do their work independently. (Some independent work is helpful, of course, but it shouldn’t replace the interaction between you and yours that will make learning feel FUN for your little ones.)

Showing off her edible butterfly life cycle

Showing off her edible butterfly life cycle

So please…don’t turn your children off to learning their very first year of “real school.” Introduce them early to the incredible JOY that comes with learning new concepts and discovering new information. Then, as they get older, you can “buckle down to more serious work,” but the thought patterns will be in place so that they’ll enjoy that serious learning. (I do, however, recommend employing visual and hands-on learning, when possible, at every age and grade.)

Remember: It’s not about YOU. Your goal isn’t to show off how much your children know. School should be about them, and this year you have an opportunity to either turn them off to school completely, or unlock the potential for a lifelong love of learning.

Don’t worry. Your children will learn TONS this year. It’s what they do best! Why not let them enjoy it?

Enjoy learning together!

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