A Guide to Your Child's Learning at SUMC Preschool
SUMC Preschool and Your Child’s Kindergarten Readiness:
A Parent’s Primer
At SUMC Preschool, we begin preparing your child for Kindergarten and beyond from the first day they arrive at our doors. Regardless of the age of your child when they begin preschool here with us, we provide them with an education that prepares them not only for Kindergarten, but for all the wonderful experiences that their life holds well beyond their early childhood years. Our comprehensive and well-rounded curriculum is designed so that it is consistent and progresses across all the preschool years with us. This progression ultimately results in a strong learning foundation, both academically and socially, so that your child is well-prepared for their next steps.
At SUMC Preschool, we provide your child with the opportunity to learn in an environment that is hands-on, joyful, experiential, and authentic. We teach children in an engaging way. This is the nature of play-based learning, and it is the natural way that children learn. Of course, this approach is in no way exclusive of academics. Much to the contrary, academics are the subject matter that is taught through play and other authentic learning experiences.
Reading and Writing
Emergent Literacy (reading and writing) is incorporated into every part of our curriculum here at SUMC Preschool. The path toward literacy begins during the toddler years as your child starts to understand the English language through conversation and age-appropriate books. This emergent literacy foundation is built upon as your young child grows and develops and has more experiences with the world around them. As your child experiences our developmentally-appropriate preschool curriculum, their emergent literacy grows and deepens, extending to include all of the Kindergarten readiness skills that they are expected to have as they enter elementary school. It is absolutely critical that the important foundational skills are laid before the next step is embarked upon. In order to ensure that your child becomes a lifelong, joyful reader and writer, we must allow them to experience the joys of learning through discovery. When it comes to early learning, earlier is not better and rushing children to learn that which they are not yet ready for can have detrimental, not beneficial, effects.
Earlier is Not Better
Earlier is truly not better. By endorsing the “earlier is better” myth, children are missing out on critical developmental skills that lay the foundation for true learning. The more we “push down” academic skills at younger and younger ages, the less true learning is occurring. The preschool years are a short and critically important time for your child to develop at their own pace through hands on, authentic learning experiences.
Be wary of heavy-handed, skills focused instruction that relies upon rote learning. Rote learning, such as is promoted by worksheets, flash cards, computer programs, or “educational” apps does not equate with the true and authentic learning experiences that your child needs to truly acquire new skills and knowledge. Although a slight increase in initial screening scores may be observed after these rote learning tactics are utilized, false-gains quickly dissipate and are not maintained by children over the long haul. In addition young children using these seemingly quick-fix rote learning measures can actually be detrimental to children’s long-term learning. In fact, a child who is pushed into “learning academic skills” before they are ready, meaning before they have built the appropriate learning foundations, can experience a deterioration in their skills as they progress through kindergarten and the elementary years. Do not be swayed by myths, marketing, or lore that earlier is better.
A Parent’s Role
As parents, the most important thing you can do to support your young child’s learning is to spend quality time with them. Read, read, and then read some more. Provide your child with accessible reading and writing materials and give them meaningful reasons to read and write. Make learning and discovery fun. Spend quality time talking and having fun with your child. Encourage curiosity and “safe” risk-taking. Delight in your child, celebrate the amazing and unique person they are, and embrace the understanding that play is truly the work of childhood.
SUMC Preschool Standards
As an SUMC Preschool family, you can be assured that the highest educational standards for your young child are in place. We are certified and registered with the New York State Department of Education. Our teachers are experienced and knowledgeable in early childhood education and childhood development. We are knowledgeable of and adhere to the standards of learning for the Shenendehowa Central School District, New York State Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core, The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and the International Reading Association (IRA).
At SUMC Preschool, we honor children and childhood. We fully embrace this short, special time in your child’s life and take every opportunity to encourage their wonder and creative thinking. We are committed to providing the very best learning environment for your child, which includes providing a loving, warm and nurturing environment. Learning during these pivotal early years must occur within an environment filled with love and warmth. SUMC Preschool, “Where Love and Learning Blossom,” not only lovingly prepares your child for elementary school, but to embrace life long learning in the years to come.