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“Is Junior Kindergarten right for my child?”

We frequently get asked this question.

A good place to start is to figure out exactly what Junior Kindergarten actually is! Eastern Christian’s Junior Kindergarten program is designed for older four-year-olds who missed the October 1 kindergarten cut-off date or for young five-year-olds with summer birthdays whose parents have chosen to wait a year before starting kindergarten.

Did you know that 10% of US parents opt to delay their child’s entrance into kindergarten? Parents intentionally make this decision for a variety of reasons. Some parents recognize that their child will be more prepared socially and emotionally for a kindergarten classroom when they are a full year older. Others are seeking to allow their child to further develop reading readiness competencies, math skills, or fine and gross motor movements, while others want to ensure that their child has the stamina for a kindergarten classroom. Another group of parents want to give their child the advantage of being one of the oldest students in their class as opposed to one of the youngest.

Our Junior Kindergarten class provides students with additional lessons and activities beyond the traditional preschool curriculum to further promote each child’s social, emotional, physical, and academic growth and development before kindergarten. Our Junior Kindergarten class promotes positive socialization, hands-on learning, emergent literacy, and ample time to play! Differentiated instruction is provided to meet the individual needs of each student. Our Junior Kindergarten curriculum fosters growth in students confidence, independence, and self-regulation. After a year in Junior Kindergarten, students enter kindergarten ready for a great year!

For some parents, the decision to wait can be very difficult. Research shows that children who wait a year to begin kindergarten typically show greater achievement in early grades, but by third grade, any academic advantage usually disappears. However, a  2015 study from Stanford University found that children who postpone kindergarten experience social-emotional benefits including significantly reduced levels of inattention and hyperactivity even through age 11. As an early childhood educator, I have often heard parents of elementary school children and even adults say they wished they had chosen to wait an extra year to begin kindergarten. On the other hand, I have only heard parents who decided to wait speak highly of their choice.  

Our Junior Kindergarten class meets five days a week at our Midland Park campus. Parents can choose a schedule with half-days, full-days, or a combination.

If you’re interested in exploring Junior Kindergarten at Eastern Christian School, please contact our Admissions Team to arrange your personal tour today!

KarynBaitzel

By: KarynBaitzel

Karyn Baitzel is the EC Preschool Program Director

Read More Articles by KarynBaitzel
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