BUILDING A FIRM FOUNDATION FROM DAY ONE
It is not difficult to recognize that the educational experience The Geneva School students receive is unique. From the first day of school until graduation, we do things differently. What does this look like in Kindergarten?
Most importantly, in Kindergarten each subject is taught through a Christian worldview, teaching our students to think through a biblical lens in all areas of life including academia. To help our Kindergarteners understand the sovereignty of God, we begin our studies with the creation and then continue on through scripture, seeing that Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophet, priest, and king of the Old Testament. They memorize scripture throughout the year and study the First Catechism.
At The Geneva School, we use a language-rich math program. Our program moves students from a concrete understanding to a pictorial representation to an abstract understanding. This program embodies Einstein’s belief that, “If you can’t explain it simply enough, you don’t understand it well enough.” Our students do not just memorize a formula and apply it, rather they must be able to explain how the numbers are being manipulated to solve for an unknown. This depth of understanding in Kindergarten allows our students to succeed at higher levels of mathematics.
Phonograms and Reading
Learning to analyze your primary language is one of the first building blocks to support higher-level thinking. To ensure our Kindergarteners learn to read through an analysis of their language, we teach our students to spell before we teach them to read.
We use beginning readers with beautiful, age-appropriate vocabulary and heroes and heroines worthy of our young students’ time. Our readers are integrated with our history program. So, when our students begin their first journey through the history of Western Civilization in second grade, they have already encountered many of the people and events in their kindergarten and first-grade readers.
Pencil Grip and Handwriting
Correct pencil grip is more than a forgotten art, correct pencil grip is the quickest pathway to expedited writing fluency, when the child no longer has to think about how to form letters or spell words. We begin teaching cursive in Kindergarten. Cursive is less taxing on fine motor skills. This means two things. Learning to write is an easier and more enjoyable process for our young students and we can teach them to write with excellence from day one!
Cursive also makes learning the difference between phonograms and whole words more intuitive. To print one lifts their pencil multiple times within a word and sometimes within a letter. When a child writes the word “pat” in print, they lift their pencil four times. When a child writes the word “pat” in cursive they do not lift their pencil at all. That is true for every word in cursive. Keeping the writing utensil on the paper for the entire word reinforces the concept of the whole word versus the particular phonograms within the word.