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Kindergarten Readiness!

KINDERGARTEN READINESSS

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL SKILLS

Lillian Chung
School Psychologist

As a school psychologist I am often asked “Is my child ready for Kindergarten?”.  Readiness includes a myriad of skills including cognitive, linguistic, behavioral and social.  In the last 20 years, many educational systems have offered all kinds of enrichment.  Research has shown that more young children are entering Kindergarten knowing their alphabet and numbers but having difficulty making and keeping friends.  Fortunately, the “social skills” necessary for Kindergarten success are LEARNED behaviors.  The PATH’s class offers a comprehensive social skills class that focuses on the skills needed for Kindergarten readiness such as:  how to share and negotiate; how to pick up on social cues; how to initiate and sustain positive friendships, practice grace and manners and most importantly, how to build empathy.  Age-appropriate stories, songs, games and puppets are used in each class to focus on a different skill.  Parents are given “homework” weekly so they can reinforce the learned behavior at home.  Classes start on Wednesday, Sept. 17th and are limited to 10 students only.  I am looking forward to another wonderful year at St. Matthew’s Montessori and working with your children.

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Our Bible Curriculum- Godly Play; It’s Time for Advent!

Godly Play and Advent season at St. Matthew’s written by Trevecca Okholm, Certified Christian Educator
First of all, what is “Godly Play” and what does “play” have to do with God? In our culture we usually think of “play” as the stuff of children and wasted time; however, when we use the term “play” in a theological sense we are talking about a deep, active engagement within an activity that forms meaning. Creative, theological “play” allows space for children to learn liturgical language, imagine their place in God’s ongoing story of His people, and reflect on their developing faith. Too much of what happens in Christian education in many churches is passive. Passive sitting and listening but also passive entertainment. Entertainment is a spectator activity, it is not play, and it usually engages us on a superficial level. In order for our children to incorporate the Biblical story into their hearts and their lives they need to have room to imagine, to wonder, and to spiritually reflect. And that is exactly what Godly Play provides, a place and a space for entering the wonder and mystery of our Christian faith. And that is why we call it “Godly Play.”
Godly Play and Advent Season This Advent season the children of St. Matthew’s are going on a journey. But who will show them the way? The prophets of the Old Testament point the way to the Messiah’s coming, light into our darkness, they are the first to show us the way on our journey to Bethlehem. The holy family trusted God, even when it was hard and they show us the way to Bethlehem. The shepherds and the angels announce Christ’s birth. Because the shepherds listened to the angels and went to see for themselves, they were excited to be the first to go and tell the good news! The shepherds and the angels show us the way. Finally the Magi (the wise men of old) traveled far and brought gifts to the Christ child and they also show us the way to Bethlehem again this Advent season. Parents, this is just a taste of the wonder and mystery your children will engage in during their Christian education time. If you would like more information on this new adventure for St. Matthew’s children, please talk with one of our leaders in the children’s department and they will be happy to show and tell you more!
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