Room To Grow
Seedlings’ Developmental Kindergarten program is for children who are age-eligible for kindergarten yet would benefit from an additional year of preschool. The goal is to give students extra time with teachers to work on skills, help them engage with other children through play and group activities and to problem solve. Seedlings uses the same curriculum as the local kindergartens.
Have questions? We have answers! Please take a moment to read through frequently asked questions below.
If you are have more questions or are interested in wait listing your child for our Developmental Kindergarten program please email us. firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the Developmental Kindergarten (DK for 5-year-olds) and the Sunflowers (pre-K for 4-year-olds) classes?
Both classes are intended to prepare the children for kindergarten. The main difference is that all of the children in the DK turn 5 years between June and December of that school year, so not only is there a smaller age range, but the children’s developmental level is typically similar. Having a closer age range in these classes fosters positive and appropriate social interactions among the students in the class-an important skill to work on in preparation for kindergarten. This also creates a closer age range in the Sunflowers class, alleviating the issue of having a handful of “older” children mixed in with 4-year-olds.
Is the DK an academic program?
While the goal of the program is to prepare the children for kindergarten, Seedlings philosophy remains play-based throughout all of our classrooms. In DK, children take the curriculum to another level because, developmentally, they are ready for more challenging curriculum. Our highly skilled DK teachers offer a positive balance of play and structured curriculum when they create their developmentally appropriate lesson plans.
What kind of curriculum is used in the DK?
We have adopted the Houghton-Mifflin Language Arts curriculum that the local elementary schools use. We take from both their pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs as well as supplementing our own curricula in math, science, art, life skills and social studies.
- Each week the children are introduced to a letter of the week through an “alpha friend” like Larry the Lion. There are several activities focused around this alpha friend such as learning a song, talking about the letter sounds, writing about him in a book and journaling.
- Each day the children engage in hands-on math activities by participating in calendar activities, counting by 1’s, 10’s and 100’s, graphing, sorting by colors and shapes and adding and subtracting objects.
- Children participate in a unit on insects where they learn about the life cycle of a caterpillar and watch real caterpillars hatch into butterflies right before their eyes!
- Children are exposed to social studies through learning about other cultures and special historical figures like United States Presidents.
- Children participate in weekly science activities such as cooking and special science experiments where they are encouraged to ask questions and determine what the outcome may be.
How do I know if I should send my child to regular kindergarten or to developmental kindergarten?
We feel strongly with elementary school standards becoming tougher, that some children blossom with the opportunity to wait a year before entering kindergarten. There is an ever growing trend by families to wait to send children with fall birthdays to kindergarten until they are 5 years old. As a result, this creates an environment in the kindergarten classroom where several children may be turning 6 in the fall. You are the most important person in determining if your child seems ready for kindergarten, with input from their current teachers. There is not a set criterion, but if you see things like your child is not interested in writing their name, has little impulse control, or cannot follow 2-3 direction requests they may need an extra year.
My child has been with the same group of kids for the past 3 years, I am worried she won’t adjust or feel part of this new group.
Whether your child is beginning kindergarten or coming to our DK, they will be joining a new group and making new friends. Developmentally, your children will be spending a lot of time figuring out the dynamics of group play and what it means to be a friend. Assuredly, the teachers are close at hand to support your children with any challenges that may occur. We find that social skills and conflict resolution are a large part of our day at Seedlings and we are well prepared for that.
The DK teachers create a community in the classroom to which the children feel an integral part. There are many planned activities that foster a sense of community and belonging within the group. For example, at the beginning of each school year every child decorates their own life sized outline and then creates “their story,” that includes their cultural background, at home with family. They bring their story to share with the class and then their outline and story is displayed in the classroom.