Back to school season often brings tough decisions for parents and families who are paving the path to success for their children. One challenging choice that families face centers around when to send their child to school. With preschool programs, Young 5s programs, and kindergarten, the options seem endless, but Paramount Charter Academy is ready to help.
Program specifics aside, children need quality learning experiences early on. Young 5s programs, offered at many National Heritage Academies (NHA) schools across the state, provide support for young learners who may benefit from the gift of an additional year.
Young 5s is a form of pre-kindergarten that is meant for children who have either missed the cutoff date to turn 5 for kindergarten or will not turn 5 until the end of that academic year. These programs offer an extra year for children to develop social and emotional skills, allowing them to build a strong foundation for educational success in the future.
By the end of kindergarten, students are expected to count, do simple math, and read. Young 5s programs ease students in before taking on the demands of kindergarten. Young 5s programs, like kindergarten, teach students standard curriculum, including reading, writing, math, science, and the arts; however, the academics are play-based to ease the transition into learning.
At the end of the Young 5s year, students are shown to be well-rounded individuals who are ready for full-day kindergarten. A substantial amount of information is covered in kindergarten, and not every child is equipped to handle the material during their first year of school.
Families can identify key factors in their children to help determine the program that best suits their needs. If a child can identify 10 or more letters of the alphabet, they may be a good fit for Young 5s. Alternatively, if a child can recognize and name all upper- and lower-case letters of the alphabet, they may be ready for kindergarten. Additionally, a Young 5s candidate may have the ability to read several sight words like their name, while a kindergarten candidate can read common high-frequency words by sight, including the, you, she, and he.
Factors used to determine a child’s readiness for Young 5s and kindergarten are based on a variety of criteria, often including cognitive and language development, early literacy, social-emotional development, and physical development, among others.
According to the 2020-21 kindergarten age requirements in Michigan, a student’s birthday must be on or before September 1. Parents whose child is born between September 1 and December 1 may opt to enroll their child into kindergarten by signing a parent waiver. These children are often great candidates for Paramount Charter Academy’s Young 5s program.