We had the opportunity to have a Q. & A. with the Director of King of Glory Preschool Michelle Swain-Clauberg. Mrs. Swain-Clauberg is a big supporter of play based learning and recess, but read the following questions and answers and you will get good tips on getting kids ready for preschool, on one thing parents can do to help with their children’s education and…well, a lot more!
1.What is your opinion on the importance of recess and free play for a preschool child. How do you incorporate that into your school?
Play is a child’s work. As he plays, he has a chance to relive his experiences, ask questions about his world and, most of all, act out his dreams. – Self Directed play is at the center of our educational philosophy. In order for children to truly know a “thing”, be that a sound, a feeling, or a math equation, they must DO it. Think of water……to tell a child of water gives some information, to show them a photo of water in all of its many forms may give a little more information about water, but the only way to KNOW water is to touch, feel, and taste water. You can put anything in to that example: one to one correspondence, chemistry, letters, geometry, culture, measurement, even an apple. To learn you must experience. And experience in a meaningful, purposeful, intentional way. That is where teachers come in; not to impart knowledge in a “lecture” way that is out of context but to set up the classroom environment and large group times to engage and encourage learning.
2.What is NAEYC accreditation? What does NAEYC Accredited tell parents about a program?
The National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest accrediting organization for preschool programs. Accreditation is a voluntary process that programs participate in to show that they meet certain academic, social and quality standards. This is done to insure families that your child’s early childhood educational environment is meeting standards that have been developed and supported by research. In order to be accredited, preschool and early childhood education programs are measured against NAEYC’s Early Childhood Program Standards, these standards are in 10 areas: relationships, curriculum teaching, assessment of child progress, health, teachers, families, community relationships, physical environment and leadership and management.
3. What are some steps parents can do to ease the transition for children coming to daycare/preschool setting for the first time?
There are many ways parents can help with your child’s transition in to school
- Talk about the school, name of teachers, etc.
- Drive by the school – visit if possible before the start time
- Create a routine with your child – have him/her help you pick out snack/lunch and pack it, routine for good bye (kiss in the hand, hug at the door, etc.)
- Read lots of books about school (a few suggestions are: “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn, “Will I have a Friend” by Miriam Cohen, “When I miss you “ by Cornlia Spelman, “It’s time for Preschool” by Esme Raj Codell
4. As an educator what do you see as important things parents can do with their children to keep them inspired to learn.
There are many things that parents do naturally every day with their children that motivate learning. Talking with children, asking open ended questions, listening to stories, playing games, cooking, building with blocks, and so much more. But if I had to pick one thing it would be to read with your child. There isn’t an age where children are too young to be read to. Reading anything to your child helps them to develop literacy skills, vocabulary knowledge, print smarts, imagination, problem solving skills, social interactions, and math skills. At the best part? Being close to your child provides an amazing heart beat to heart beat connection. Which builds self-esteem, helps children feel loved and safe. Nothing beats having a child on your lap as you adventure through a book
5.What is a typical day like for a child at King of Glory Preschool?
The Mission of King of Glory Preschool is to provide an environment where the spiritual, physical, emotional, social and cognitive needs of the young child are met and nurtured. A typical day varies depending on the age of the child and the length of their school day; but regardless of those every school day involves the following important learning times:
Large Group time (filled with stories, and routines such as calendar, weather, plans for the day, etc.)
Small Group Time (time to work on an activity with a teacher along with other kids that hold similar interests and / or skills)
Individual Choice Time
Outside / Large Motor Time
Snack and or Meal time
6. How do KOG grads fair in Elementary?
Kindergarten teachers consistently let us know that children from King of Glory come into their classrooms “ready to learn”. They are respectful, self-assured learners, who can interact socially and manage all that comes from being in a “big” school. What we strive to instill in children and families is a love of learning, a knowledge base for developmentally appropriate materials and expectations, as well as a firm educational, spiritual, and social foundation.
7. Do you enroll at anytime during the year or is there an enrollment period?
We have our annual enrollment time in January. However, if space allows we enroll in classes throughout the year (including summer). The best way to find out what is open and when is to call the school (757) 258-1070 or stop by and get a tour. We welcome families into our school family at any time.
8. What types of programs do you offer families at King of Glory Preschool?
King of Glory offers full day and part time programs for children ages two through five. The full day program is open from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. offering the same quality preschool curriculum as our traditional half day preschool programs; this program serves children ages 33 months through five years. In addition to the full day program, King of Glory also offers half day programs for children ages two through five. These programs are for as little as two days a week and as much as five. Check out the King of Glory School webpage to learn even more about the variety of programs available. www.kogpk.org