What is the difference between transitional kindergarten and kindergarten?
Since the state of California introduced a new and exciting opportunity for children to enroll in Transitional Kindergarten, demand has gone through the roof. With this opportunity opening up an extra year of schooling for children whose 5th birthdays fall between Sep 2nd and Dec 2nd, there has been an increase of research into the importance of such a support type year. The definition of this type of teaching is in the phrase itself, transitional. This type of education supports children in transitioning from their typical household day to day into academic studies and the type of development that is expected of them for the next period of their lives. This is varied from normal Kindergarten as it is modified to meet the needs of these typically younger students. As a result, these children have the advantage of knocking down the social and emotional hurdles that everyone has to face way earlier when starting a more regimented academic routine.
What does the research say?
Research has found that those attending transitional kindergarten are at least five months ahead of friends the same age as them. As a preparation year for Kindergarten, children have the ability to mobilize and use skills they just would not pick up at home. They often have more advanced literary and math skills which help to increase the speed in which they learn and minimize the moments of confusion or inability in class. Combine this with a reputable kindergarten private school in Orange County CA, and your child will have an impeccably fast and intellectual development.
So, what exactly is the difference?
Some may argue that there is no difference and that children that young do not need an extra year of education. However, the transitional kindergarten curriculum prepares many children for the second year so they no longer need the drawn-out amount of time to develop like those who enter school at Kindergarten year. As the student demographic is very young, Transitional Kindergarten is adapted to emphasize learning and development in these areas such as oral language development and number familiarity.
The benefits of Transitional Kindergarten
Understanding of social cues
A key and important note to take is that a lot of what you learn in school is not subject based. Becoming a responsible and well-respected member of society is not all based on what grades someone received at school. Behavioral and social development is nurtured in school and having a transitional year in a strong Christian kindergarten before you enter the second year equips children with the emotional and social confidence to be successful with their peers. They learn how to be respectful of others, cooperate, have self-confidence and develop healthy attitudes towards their school and learning. This is an extremely important behavior to learn and sets the standard for the rest of their academic lives.
Gives children a passion for learning
Children are not thrown into a pressurized environment where they are competing immediately with their peers to understand subjects and get the best grades. Instead, they are encouraged through a number of hands-on and fun activities to learn the basics so that, by the time Kindergarten and first grade comes along, they have the confidence along with all the tools they need to face subjects like maths head on. Not only will they be more equipped for academia, but they will have more of a passion for learning because they will not fear it.
There is no extra cost
A huge benefit of the transitional kindergarten curriculum is that it comes at no additional cost. As long as the child is eligible, they are free to sign up to the program.
Transitional Kindergarten curriculum follows the Common Core States Standard academic program. Therefore, it is taught by fully qualified teachers to give pupils the best chance of building on skills they may have already received from pre-school and creating new skills ready for the start of their academic lives.
The cons of Transitional Kindergarten
Refined age range
A big con is that your birthday needs to fall between Sep 2nd and December 2nd. Unfortunately, this ignores the huge number of children that were born during the other 9 months of the year. According to state legislation, to be eligible for transitional kindergarten, the child’s 5th birthday must fall within this time frame.
No evidence of vast increase in academic intellect
Although many are in favor of the social and emotional benefits transitional kindergarten gives to children, there has been no proof of dramatic improvements on test scores as a result of this extra year. However, it is believed that children that have more confidence and self-belief encouraged through Transitional Kindergarten will be more successful academically too.
Despite the potential downsides of transitional Kindergarten, as a preparation tool for the journey education brings, the state could not propose a better concept. It provides children with the tools so they are fully equipped when they go into first grade, whilst taking the pressure of just the one year in Kindergarten. Parents and teachers do not need to spend one year radically adapting them to the forthcoming curriculum and academia set out ahead of them. In order to prevent being held back grades, having the opportunity to get an additional year to just transition and slowly adapt to life in education gives a lot of children the head start they need. Every pupil learns differently and providing them with the social, emotional, behavioral and academic tools is a show stopping combination that will support the development of your child into a successful and respectful member of society.