5 Reasons to Send Your Child to Catholic Kindergarten
A Catholic education has many benefits– it’s designed to give children a strong start in school and in life by helping them to develop valuable skills that give them every opportunity to succeed at school. A strong Catholic Kindergarten education is more than simply academic rigor; it’s about the spiritual strength that is provided to children at a young and impressionable age. The central focus of Catholic education is learning about Jesus Christ and living in relationship to his teachings. Below are five specific reasons to send your child to a Catholic Kindergarten school.
Faith development and building a relationship with God
A Catholic presence in one’s life establishes a strong foundation for learning and promotes cognitive, social, emotional, and spiritual development of all children. A Catholic learning environment provides a space for the child to become closer to their faith and to God. Educators are more than just instructors, they are servant leaders who echo God’s message and Gospel values in word and in action. Catholic schools have the unique educational purpose of presenting a Catholic world view to their students. This is a way of looking at the world through a Catholic Church lens, derived from Catholic Church teachings, Scripture, and Catholic Church traditions. A Catholic Kindergarten program serves as the roadmap for both teachers and students as they embark on a journey with God. This will provide them with a foundational knowledge and understanding of the faith as witnessed in the teachings and the traditions of the Catholic Church.
Growing in service of others
Catholic schools are faith-based schools whose educational purpose is not only the transmission of knowledge; but also, the formation of the whole person in terms of body, mind and spirit. Children are taught about growing in faith, love and ministry– to show their love of God through service to others. Students are encouraged to share their talents and resources with others who are in need. For example, school food drive collections, cards for veterans and the elderly, and making casseroles for our local food pantry are where our youngest students begin to see the labor of their work for the good of others. Through teacher guidance, students engage in service projects as a learning experience and a witness to their Christian faith in action. And so, a faith based learning environment, espouses the teachings of Christ that are central to the mission and vision of the Catholic Kindergarten educational experience.
Teachers as Role Models: Nurturing the Whole Child
As teachers, it is important to understand and respect student identity and honor who they are as individuals, in and out of the classroom – this is to understand what it means to teach in a Catholic way! These understandings are complemented by what we quickly begin to perceive, understand and experience in terms of appreciating and then nurturing what each individual teacher brings to the school community. Kindergarten creates a strong sense of caring and focus for others and always permeates everything we do. Our calling as educators is to foster the growth of servant leadership at a young age, to help students build their relationship with Jesus, making them Christ-centered individuals. We achieve this through personal prayer, contemplative thought, and discipline through a Catholic lens. Students are encouraged, as teachers do, to look around and see Jesus in others.
Preparing students to build 21st century competencies
Preparing students early for 21st century thinking , investing our time and resources to address higher order thinking skills. These critical thinking skills begin in Kindergarten and are essential to living in today’s multimedia world. Using innovative technology to ensure our students are able to compete in today’s global economy is of paramount importance. Research shows that this learning must begin in the early years, as teachers immerse their learners in what Michael Fullan calls “deep learning.” He refers to this as the 6 C’s: Character, Citizenship, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Critical Thinking. Each of these pillars is sought in a Catholic Kindergarten program as we prepare our students for the future by not only challenging them to be creative problem solvers, but to work collectively and collaboratively providing the vehicle to learn and lead for tomorrow’s world. Child-centered learning is celebrated and faith is strengthened.
Using Christ as a model for love and learning of self and others
One essential ingredient to a Catholic Kindergarten experience is using Christ as a model for love and learning. God is love, and so one way to model God’s love for us is to show and demonstrate love in the classroom. Building relationships, creating a sense of community, and seeing the face of Christ in all our students is what Catholic educators are called to do. We must act and respond to our students with a Christs-like love. The encyclical “God is Love” not only reminds us of God’s love for each of us, but also the role we play in bringing that love and security to our neighbor. Our role as Catholic leaders is to support our students by making them feel KNOWN and LOVED in what we say and what we do each day. Our lessons echo God’s word, to ensure that all students feel valued and recognized as a child of God.
Therefore, a Catholic Kindergarten education ensures opportunities for spiritual growth with God while acknowledging and celebrating all of the positive things that are being done in the name of student learning and achievement. It will prepare your child for elementary school and beyond by fostering positive attitudes and beliefs (a “growth mindset”) about learning. Kindergarten students become equipped to communicate their thinking, to be curious, to ask questions, and to take risks in a loving and faith-filled environment.
The School of the Cathedral’s Kindergarten
We invite you to learn more about The School of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, a private Catholic K-8 co-ed parish school in Baltimore, Maryland. Explore our kindergarten curriculum, and join us for our next Open House: