The journey begins
Entering kindergarten is an amazing step in a child’s growth, and a significant transition for a child and their family. It is not only the next natural step after a preschool/pre-K experience, but the entry point for a child’s K-12+ educational journey. Our goal is to help children develop their understanding, wonderment, and respect for the world around them, while kindling their curiosity, amazement, and love for learning.
Is your child ready for kindergarten at Tilden?
The education program offered at Tilden School provides a unique learning experience in a small environment with a high adult-to-student ratio. Our focus is strongly academic, traditionally structured, and community oriented.
Things to consider
All children develop at varying rates and along varying paths. Some areas of growth are stronger or more dominant at any one point in time. There are many fits and starts along the way. Generally speaking, however, there are some keys to assessing if your child is ready to start kindergarten with moderate confidence. There is a lot of information out there. Check around. Read up. Talk with other parents and family members about their children’s experiences. Talk and listen openly to your child’s preschool teachers and other care providers. Above all, listen to your gut. Ultimately this is a decision about what is best for your child at this point in time, regardless of the outside noise of expectations, opinions, traditions, conveniences, and family/peer relationships. Here are a few points to consider:
- Is your child showing interest and curiosity for letters, word play, books, pre-reading?
- Does your child enjoy playing semi-structured games with other children?
- Does your child know when to say “Please” and “Thank You” in the proper context?
- Does your child show interest and joy in using scissors, pencils, crayons, and other small writing implements?
- Can your child make independent choices about what to play or do when given the opportunity?
- Is your child willing to follow directions from other adults?
- Can you go out with your child and enjoy a dining experience with your child behaving politely, for your experience, and that of the other guests’?
- Can your child listen to you read a story book at attentively?
- Can your child be introduced to other adults, or to other children, without hiding behind your legs?
- Can your child dress themselves mostly independently?
- Can your child play with other children without hitting them?
- Can you be away from your child for reasonable periods of time in the day without reports of tummy aches and a lot of crying when you are away?
Be assured your child is truly a creative, intelligent, curious, and amazing child, even if these questions didn’t elicit an immediate “yes.” If several, or many, fell into a “well, not really” category, it may be important to take a closer look at your child’s readiness for a full K program. Each child is on his or her own developmental path. That path is determined by your child’s own magic, not necessarily by the deadlines and calendars set by schools and districts. The best thing you can do to help your child start school successfully, and kindle a joy for learning, is to cherish and honor your child’s unique growth path and provide him or her with experiences and opportunities to develop readiness skills. Many children prosper greatly with a little extra time. There is no rush. As you have heard before about children, time with them goes by much too quickly.
Talk candidly with your child’s preschool teacher or care provider, critically observe your child interacting with other groups of children, and fully explore the various options of preschool, pre-K, and two-year K programs in our region. Most importantly, take the time to be an informed advocate for your child’s education.
Our early age admission requirement
We recognize our cut-off date for admissions is earlier than many schools in the region: July 1st. We are a small school and, as each new group of children begins their six-year journey with us, we strive to put that group on a steady path with each other in regards to their academic, social, emotional, and physical development. In our experience, we believe a child’s developmental age, more significantly than their chronological age, is a critical factor in determining the readiness of a child for starting their formal education. Our data from our population indicates that very frequently students with later summer birthdates experience important struggles in their school experience. These struggles may be completely unimaginable when you look at your very eager five-year-old who is talking your ear off and organizing a band of playmates into complicated story structures of wild, imaginative play. Your child is not only starting kindergarten, but stepping onto a path toward middle school, high school, and college. We choose to start children with the advantage of an extra confidence they can carry with them as they develop academically, socially, emotionally, and physically throughout their whole educational experience.
To attend Tilden School, all students must provide proof of immunization or a certificate of exemption, either for medical necessity or a bona fide religious belief. It is the policy of the school that students who seek an exemption from the required proof of immunization on the basis of their philosophical or personal objection to immunization will not be permitted to attend.