Benefits of a Private TK/Kindergarten Program

Benefits of a Private TK/Kindergarten Program

We bought our house directly across the street from our local early elementary school. I envisioned walking my kids to their first day of school and volunteering as an enthusiastic room-parent. However, when our children were ready for Pre-K, it all just didn’t feel the way I had imagined.

To be very clear, our neighborhood school is well-respected in our community. The teachers have spectacular reputations. But, it was right around the time that the education system was introducing MCAS into the education world. Rumors of high-pressure preparation starting in the early years was common talk at the playground among the moms with older children.

Our daughter was (still is!) a free-spirit and full of joy. She loved books but she also loved dancing, dress-up, fairy gardens, painting, dolls and PLAYING! Our son was more sensitive and looked for reassurance and approval when trying anything new. I wanted school to be a place they would both feel successful and accepted, not pressured and anxious.  Were they ready for more work, less play?

Finding the Right TK/Kindergarten Program

My degree is in Early Childhood Education, so I did feel qualified and, of course, determined to make the right decision about their futures. In the back of my mind, I could hear the words of my favorite professor at Salve Regina University, Dr. Relihan:

Play is the work of early childhood. Childhood is short and it is precious. Shouldn’t kids be given the time and space to do what they are naturally compelled to do? Shouldn’t they be encouraged to play, in addition to or even prioritized over, tackling the rigors of a curriculum?

Unstructured play time has an abundant amount of benefits, some including:

  • Problem-solving
  • Language and vocabulary development
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Creativity 
  • Emotional Intelligence 
  • Socialization
  • Physical fitness

Where could they learn, but play? Where could they feel safe taking new risks? And, where could they learn at an individual pace and on their own timeline?

Cornerstone Academy was our answer

Like a well-oiled machine, Cornerstone Academy designs the daily routine and curriculum with age-appropriate balance and flexibility. The school educated and nurtured our children. They (very quickly) learned their letters, sight words, addition, subtraction and so much more. They were reading with unabashed enthusiasm. But they also played. Everyday.

They played inside with a classic kitchen playset, blocks and puppets and outside, twice a day, for recess. They learned those basic skills by playing games and singing songs and writing with sidewalk chalk. And, when they were ready, they could apply these skills on paper. It was seamless and it was joyful. They felt safe and loved.  

One of the benefits of Cornerstone’s private TK and Kindergarten is that it gave them time to be children. They are well-adjusted children who are satisfied, ready to learn and eager to explore. I would not trade that time in their lives for anything. It was one of the few times, as a parent, I felt confident in my choice. My children are now visiting colleges. They have taken MCAS tests, SATs and AP exams. We knew a time would come in their lives for those experiences. And they were appropriately prepared for those milestones. I have no doubt that the benefits of the seeds of self-confidence and assurance for life’s later challenges were planted in those private TK and Kindergarten classrooms. It is an attainable, available and beautiful gift to be able to give our children.