Social & Emotional Learning
Throughout the Pre-K year, Ridge Christian teachers and staff will both model and train students in healthy social and emotional behaviors. It is in this year that students advance from the play-based home or preschool environment to a more equal balance of teacher-directed and student-led activities. Children will learn about waiting, taking turns, using good manners, showing respect and being respected, apologizing and forgiving, listening attentively to directions, and demonstrating age-appropriate self-help and simple problem-solving skills.
At Ridge Christian, learning to recognize letters and their sounds is a foundational skill in Pre-K. By winter, many children are able to sound out CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words such as hat or pet. We also place a lot of emphasis on other early reading skills throughout the year such as identifying and providing rhyming words and even learning 10 sight words.
Large motor skills develop first in young children, followed by small motor skills. At Ridge Christian, we help children learn to use our beautiful playground equipment with confidence. We practice age-appropriate skills such as using alternating feet on stairs, standing on one foot for ten seconds, and hopping five times on one foot. We place equal emphasis on small motor skills. These include learning to hold a crayon correctly. We teach children to form their name in title case (first letter only is capitalized), write all 26 upper case letters and write numbers from 1-10. Process art, coloring, and scissor skills are also practiced on a regular basis in fun and creative ways. Children develop their motor skills at different rates but we encourage every child to say, “I’ll try” when faced with a challenge.
In Pre-K, we introduce the concept of conversation, the practice of talking, and then listening and staying on topic – especially during circle time. We encourage children to use their words to describe what they want and to ask for help if they need it. We are especially delighted when children can listen to and re-tell a story, use words instead of hands or feet when they are upset, and express independent thought rather than copying their neighbor’s answer. These are signs of confidence and, ultimately, will be signs of Kindergarten readiness.
Math skills are developed and practiced every day at circle time. We count how many days we have been in school and how many days in the month, how many friends are at school and more. During calendar time, children learn to recognize and complete patterns ranging from simple to complex (AB, ABC, AABB, AAB, etc.). They also learn to create and continue their own patterns. In addition, children learn to count to 20 (mastering those tricky “teens”) and count items to 10 with 1:1 correspondence. Quantitative words, positional words, and concepts of yesterday, today, and tomorrow and other mathematical concepts are taught in daily conversations.
Science has never been more exciting! At Ridge Christian Academy, we have a dedicated STEM instructor who will encourage children to ask questions and apply the scientific method to experiment, investigate, make observations, and draw conclusions about the world God has created.
Music is a joyful form of self-expression. At Ridge Christian Academy, children come together to sing worship songs daily in Assembly. We also have a music teacher on staff to provide weekly in-class experiences in music, rhythm, and simple instruments, ensuring every child receives the exceptional developmental benefits of regular musical instruction.
Pre-K students seem to instinctively love Jesus and trust Him. In the course of the school year at Ridge Christian, our 4 and 5-year-olds will learn that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for our sins and rose again, and that He can live in our heart if we invite Him in. We tell the same Bible story from different children’s Bibles for several days each week until the children know the story well enough to re-tell it themselves. They memorize a monthly scripture verse to hide God’s word in their hearts and enjoy daily worship during assembly time. Don’t be surprised when your child comes home wanting to tell you all about Jesus.