Religion Readiness is a vital part of the Catholic School Kindergarten Program. From concrete life experience, the child learns the meaning of love and being loved in a family setting. Children realize they are special not only in their own family, but also in God’s family through Baptism. In a loving atmosphere of security and trust, the child is introduced to the loving goodness of God as shown in the gifts of creation and through His greatest gift, Jesus. By becoming acquainted with the life of Jesus and guided by the Holy Spirit, the child learns to witness God’s love in the world.
Communication skills are fostered when children have the spontaneity and encouragement to express their ideas verbally, in written or picture form, in listening to others and sharing, and enjoying stories, poetry, and dramatic play. Language is a means of sharing wonder through social interaction whether listening, speaking, reading, thinking, or writing.
Reading readiness begins at birth and continues throughout a lifetime. It comes through many informal and planned activities of the family and school environment. Some activities are: learning left to right, top to bottom progression, eye-hand coordination, recalling stories and happenings in sequence, following directions, rhyming words, recognizing the alphabet in mixed order along with sounds, and leaning to appreciate books through hearing stories read aloud and taking part in picture reading. Children are given opportunities for reading growth through the five building blocks of reading: Phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension.
Handwriting is considered a learning area in kindergarten. Building with blocks, clay modeling, finger painting, coloring, and use of scissors builds eye-hand coordination which is essential for developing fine motor skills. Children are shown the correct letter forms and instructed to write on the baseline. Children are encouraged to use their natural hand preference for all hand work.
Math readiness is acquired through informal group activities and planned experiences which occur in games and discovery in working with manipulative materials. They include but are not limited to: rote counting, recognizing and understanding the meaning of the numerals from 1 to 30, learning about comparisons, the calendar, the clock, money, measurement, skip counting, sets, one-to-one correspondence, equivalence, geometric shapes, simple oral problems, and addition and subtraction readiness.
Social Studies is an important part of the kindergarten curriculum as children learn to adjust and modify their behavior to a larger group, practicing patterns of good social behavior like taking turns, using initiative, sharing, and acquiring leadership skills. They learn about people as they follow their interests about the world, their local community, their school, their family, and themselves.
Science topics discussed increase the children’s awareness of and ability to observe their environment. Children experience the natural world through experimentation, observation, and discovery about plants, animals, weather, seasons, matter, and senses. Children begin learning about body structure and functions, emotional and physical health, and family life. They also acquire the basic principals of safety in the classroom, on the street, and on the playground.
Music and rhythm are experiences in which kindergarten children sing, listen to recordings, use rhythm band instruments, and respond creatively to music through movement. Music as a well-balanced, correlated program strengthens the learning in other subject areas.
Art is another channel for creative expression as children paint, draw, print, lace, model, and construct materials and engage in other related art activities. They use color, line, and form to express ideas and feelings.
Movement is an integral part of a young child’s growth. Children develop physical skills, enjoy movement activities, improve physical fitness, and develop a positive self-concept. In addition, educational games both indoors and outdoors are the outlets for exercise, practical learning, and building of motor coordination. Lessons of fair play, following directions, sharing, and good sportsmanship are learned. Play helps children to explore and examine the world. Through these experiences, children learn to socialize, have fun, and cope with their emotions.
Students are introduced to Spanish. Some topics introduced are: numbers, the calendar, holidays, common words, and questions.