A private kindergarten program offers a warm, faith-based environment that makes the transition from preschool to kindergarten easier on your child and on you. Many times, parents think first about being academically ready. But children also need a gradual on-ramp for helping them be socially and emotionally ready for school.

How a Hybrid Christian Kindergarten Prepares Your Child Emotionally

Choosing the best environment for your kindergartener is important, and not just academically. A hybrid Christian kindergarten can help your child by slowly easing them into school. Hybrid schools like Learnwell are often just a few days a week.

Learnwell families send their children to us for two full days of academic learning and social interaction with others in their peer group. Why does this help children grow emotionally?

When 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds are away from their normal routine and away from trusted caregivers or parents, it can be jarring at first. So being in a Christian hybrid kindergarten helps them adjust gradually. Twice a week, they come to school to learn from a classroom teacher, get to know others their age, and even learn that their emotional highs and lows are normal.

Everyone has hard days. But in kindergarten, students learn that hard days are okay and they’ll come through just fine. If a child is upset after being separated from a parent or beloved preschool program, being in a Christian school means their teacher can pray with them, offer a hug or a high five, and remind them of God’s lovingkindness, letting them ease into activities with their peers.

Social Advantages of a Christian Private Kindergarten Program

The social advantages of a Christian kindergarten program are just as important as the emotional transitions. You want your child to be around others who understand and support your faith — not detract from it. We know that 5-year-olds are still learning from their parents about what they believe, and Learnwell supports what you are teaching at home.

While all of our teachers and staff are Christians, we don’t believe it’s the school’s role to teach doctrine or theology. Our main goal is that all students go home from school feeling loved and knowing they are uniquely designed by a God who loves them. They will take part in Christian devotionals based on the Bible and led by Christian teachers, and our staff and students provide a welcoming, supportive community where your little one feels like they belong.

Not only do the kindergarteners interact within their own classroom, but they also get to learn alongside older students in elementary school through devotional time, club days, and through Learnwell’s unique teaching format for social studies and science. These experiences of being around mixed age groups are often when our kindergarteners feel the most accepted — they come to understand that they are in a place where it’s safe to be themselves and “big kids” are supportive peers.

How Play-Based Learning in Kindergarten Contributes to a Richer Academic Experience

Developmentally, your 5-year-old is still very much figuring out the world around him through play. Around the age of 4, most children are starting to learn how to play interactively with others rather than just playing alongside them.

This means that play is a foundational landscape upon which kindergarteners soak in knowledge and explore being curious. We support curiosity and play-based learning because it operates on a continuum of learning that’s supported by teachers and engaging for learners.

Some of the ways in which our students learn through play recently:

  • “Digging” for letters while “ice fishing” (finding letters in a bucket of ice) after learning about the state of Minnesota and its popular pastime, ice fishing.
  • Sifting for jewels after learning about the state of Arkansas
  • Crafting their own turtles as part of a poetry unit where they read poems about a turtle
  • Learning about the faithfulness of God through a playground game
  • Digging out a pumpkin together and using the seeds to practice counting

We believe learning should be fun and developmentally appropriate. In kindergarten, that means lots of play and activity-based learning. Mystery Readers — a.k.a. parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles — often visit the classroom to read during story time or assist with a craft.

Learn more about our kindergarten program and what a day in the life of a kindergartener at Learnwell looks like.

Kindergarten Readiness Includes Social, Emotional, and Academic Support

Here’s the good news: Children don’t have to “be ready” in every way to head to kindergarten. Your child will learn new things at a rate that differs from other children. That’s okay!

So take a deep breath. At Learnwell, we will walk you through how to know if your child is prepared.

In this blog, we will cover common questions about kindergarten, what your options are, and what the Learnwell kindergarten program looks like.

You can also find our Kindergarten Readiness Checklist to help you navigate this season with confidence. 

We have more good news for you: You do not have to be an expert in schools to make the right choice for your rising kindergartner. You’re already an expert on your child – and that’s enough!

Common Questions About Kindergarten

Does your child have to know his ABCs and/or how to read?

The short answer is no. At Learnwell, we receive students who have come from a preschool environment and students who have never attended preschool. Because our class sizes are small, we’re able to individualize the learning process. Trust us! Your child will not go to first grade without knowing his ABCs and having a good running start on how to read. And if your child already reads, that’s terrific. We also have a program for high-achievers at Learnwell.

If my child has a late summer birthday, should I hold him or her back a year?

This is very dependent upon the child and his or her developmental stage. We’d love to talk to you in person at an upcoming Discover Learnwell event to help you answer this question for your child.

Do I need to be teaching my child everything he or she would have learned in preschool if he/she had attended? Or do I need to follow up on the preschool experience he/she had to make sure there are no gaps in learning?

No. At Learnwell, we want you to be encouraged that YOU can teach your child with confidence. We have very experienced, loving teachers who understand that all children are wired with different strengths and interests. Our teachers partner with parents heavily to help each individual student thrive.

What Are Your Options for Kindergarten?

This is a very good question. We have an entire series related to choosing a school for your rising kindergartener. It’s called “Public School, Private School or Homeschool?” We truly want each child to find his or her best fit – even if that means he or she doesn’t attend Learnwell North Georgia.

But if you’ve ever wondered about homeschooling and thought you couldn’t do it, or if your child needs something a little different, we invite you to learn about our hybrid model and why it’s so unique.

What Does a Private Kindergarten at Learnwell look like?

Private kindergarten at Learnwell looks a little different than at a public school, but no matter what you’re used to, we’d love to help your child thrive through:

  • Authentic Community: Where your child is seen and known, embraced for who he or she is today.
  • Play: We value play-based learning. Learnwell students get free time to play together, pursue creative projects and do kinesthetic (hands-on) learning activities.
  • Realistic Expectations: Our model is built on mastery, not grades. Children develop at varying rates, so it makes sense that their brains acquire information at different rates too. That’s okay with us! We also partner with parents where YOU are – it’s important to know that we don’t expect you to have a teaching degree. That’s why we’re here!
  • Christ-centered Teaching: All of our teachers are Christians, and they teach from a Christian worldview. While most of our curriculum isn’t specifically Christian, you can be assured that our model will not go against your Christ-centered beliefs.

What’s a Next Step I Can Take to Learn More?

Do you have more questions about what Learnwell offers in its kindergarten? Wondering about curriculum? Have specific questions about YOUR child? Our admissions director, Katherine Christman, would be happy to answer your questions.

We also invite you to attend our next information session called Discover Learnwell. There, we take an hour to go over scholarship options, what it’s like to be a true partner with your child’s teacher, and show you around the school. Or you can schedule a tour with our someone from our admissions department.

Sign up for a Discover Learnwell so we know you’re coming; can’t wait to meet you!