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Milestone: What does Kindergarten Look Like?

Earlier I wrote the Introduction about the issue at hand in our Children’s Ministry about what to do with our Kindergarten age children as they transition between learning styles.  I said that I thought there were 3 milestone questions to consider.

#1  What does Kindergarten at their school look like?

When I was a kindergartner there was a separate Kindergarten building in our city that only housed the 5-6 year old crowd.  But, in Lubbock, TX the Kindergartners attend school with Elementary students up to 5th grade.  So the trauma and shock that I felt in 1st grade, isn’t the same for 1st graders in Lubbock.  It’s more of a Kindergarten experience.  Kindergartners in Lubbock are use to being on a bus, being dropped off into long hallways, and attending PE classes twice a week.  If I’m not careful, then I plan around an educational model used 30 years ago, and not what my kids in my city are  accustomed  to.

What does this mean for me? It means that maybe moving Kindergartners to the Elementary environments at our church, might not be as eventful as I think it is.  The kids that I think may NOT be ready for a change, are actually overdue for a change.

In your city it might look different.  You might work mostly with homeschool children, or maybe the kids at your church attend a Kindergarten center, or maybe your parents just don’t want the status quo of these transitions and milestones tampered with.  Whatever the situation, it’s worth evaluating what is unique about your location when it come to Kindergarten learning.

I’d love to hear about the different Kindergarten formats you have.  Do share!

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.

8 Comments

  1. Cash Hunter · March 1, 2010

    I can’t agree more. We actually leave our Kindergarten group in our wee-worship/preschool program, but every 5-6 weeks we have a special Sunday where the Kindergartners get to come up for Kidz Worship. They feel so important and like a big kid, and then the following year they are not overwhelmed with the changes.

  2. dan scott · March 1, 2010

    good post. We decided about three years ago now to create a Kindergarten environment as a transition from PreK to Elementary kidmin. We have two rooms divided by alphabet (like PreK) but they come together for a large group worship/teaching experience (not like preK). We run 252Basics, but we modify it a lot for the Kindergarten especially at the beginning of the year.

  3. Brandon · March 2, 2010

    Our Kindergarten is housed under the umbrella of “preschool” ministry for the most part. I added them to our children’s service this past year. In school they are lumped in with the other elementary grades and so I think that is where they are likely comfortable. I think parents have a bigger issue with transitioning them in with the “older” kids.
    I also think keeping Kindergarten and 1st grade separate isn’t a terrible idea due to the fact that those kids are learning to read and that makes a big difference in some things.

  4. Johnny E! (John Enright) · March 2, 2010

    Hey JCliff! We are going to have a special 5’s -1st Grade class for our PreK area. We have space where we can do Elementary (2-6 grade) upstairs in their rooms with Elevate, and downstairs we have Nursery on the right side of the hallway (to 2 years old), and 3/4 year olds and the 5’s-1st grade on the Left side with Elevate Jr. This really only applies to our 9:45 Sunday School time, but we may change to a 2 service, classes going simultaneously set up later this year.