Q: How is reading taught in kindergarten?

    A: Language is rich and plentiful in our play-based kindergarten which strongly supports literacy development. Research holds that schools which promote play-based kindergarten models produce strong test scores in language arts in the later grades when compared with traditional kindergartens. Moreover, there is little evidence that suggests earlier formal instruction in reading and writing in pre-school or kindergarten makes for better readers and writers in the older grades. Simply, children who can learn at an earlier age will be reading earlier. On the other hand, once your child is in first grade, she will have ample opportunity to apply advanced reading skills in our Right Fit Reading program in which children are grouped for 30 minutes per day according to their skill level. Through story-telling, singing, concentrated movement activities, art, and free-play, the neurological underpinnings for reading and writing are formed. Children will also play phonological awareness games and are read to daily. There is a wide range of progression when it comes to reading. Consistent with developmental standards, we expect all children to be reading on grade level, in alignment with state standards, by the end of third grade.

    Q: How is writing taught in kindergarten?

    A: Similar to reading, children will enter kindergarten with a variety of individual skills. Writing is not taught in the formal way that it is in a traditional kindergarten classroom. In our human history, the evolution of writing began with drawing. Likewise, it is though painting and drawing that our children will begin to form an appreciation for writing. Such activities will take place through formal instruction from the teacher and organically at the will of the child as opportunities are set out in the classroom. Formal word and sentence writing instruction begins in first grade.

    Q: What if my child already knows how to read or write?

    A: Wonderful! Such skills will not be lost. To the contrary, these acquired skills will be reinforced by the activities mentioned above and complement our "well-rounded" approach to teaching with increased opportunities for artistic expression and social skills development. Our goal is not only that children learn to read but that they develop a love for it.

    * It should be noted that we expect and encourage parents to be reading to their children at home on a daily basis.

    Q: What role do parents play in the classroom?

    A: Parents are an integral part of Mariposa Kindergarten, and parent participation will look different according to the needs of the classroom and teacher. Apart from the many school volunteering opportunities in the kindergarten classroom, parents may be asked to participate in other ways including assisting with art/craft activities, assisting with setting up snack, helping with special classroom projects, or helping to beautify the classroom.

    Q: What if I need my kindergartener to be at school past 12:45?

    A: Our CAPTn'S committee (parent group) provides a fee-based enrichment program on a daily basis. Classes generally run from kindergarten dismissal @ 12:45 until approximately 2:10PM. Class offerings vary, however in the past, classes included: ceramics, peaceful niinjas, yoga, Waldorf-inspired KITE, chess, and more! Enrichment classes are a great choice if you need one or two longer school days to accommodate your schedule. However, sometimes these classes make the day a bit long for the younger TK children. Our local parks and rec department offers a program for parents who need aftercare to accommodate their work schedules. Cool Club is supervised by a credentialed teacher and a group of assistants who lead the children in a variety of games and creative activities. Cool Club's Kinder Bridge program runs from 12:45-3:00PM with the option to extend the day until 6:00PM. Please contact director Amy Jennings for more information. amy@tonicentertainment.com

    Q: How old does my child need to be to enroll in the kinder program?

    Mariposa Kindergarten has an embedded TK (transitional kindergarten). For the 2017-2018 School Year, your child's birthday must be on or before 12/2/12. However, all children with birthdates between 9/1/12 and 12/2/12 will be required to spend two (2) years in our kinder program. In addition, children with birthdates between 3/1/12-8/31/12 will also be considered for a second year in kindergarten (with final decision based on a collaborative discussion between parents and teacher). Children attending Mariposa Kindergarten for a second year will assume the role of a "Guiding Star." As a Guiding Star, our second year kinders (along with our older first year kinders) are encouraged to assume a role of leadership and responsibility within the classroom. We also offer a two-year curriculum cycle in Mariposa Kindergarten, so that all second year kinders are exposed to different stories, activities, and projects within their two years in the program.