Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

Deciding what school and educational system your child should attend is often one of the most thoughtful decisions made by parents and caregivers. Public or private? Home school? The options seem endless and the stakes feel high.

When our family moved to the Kalamazoo area, I started researching all of the local elementary educational options and came across another option I didn’t know about growing up: Young 5’s versus kindergarten.    

Having a 4-year-old with a November birthday, I quickly realized our family was impacted by this option.

Despite the weightiness of the decision, there are resources available to evaluate and determine what is the best enrollment choice for your child. National Heritage Academies schools provide options and insight to aid parents with this decision-making process.

National Heritage Academies have 88 schools in nine states, with over 35 in Michigan. Many of them offer Young 5’s and kindergarten programs including Endeavor Charter Academy in Springfield/Battle Creek and Paramount Charter Academy in Kalamazoo.

Young 5’s as an Option to Consider

Not sure if your child is ready for kindergarten? Many parents often struggle with this question. Young 5 programs are specially created for the child who is younger age-wise than the average kindergartner.

Children who turn five between September 1 and December 1 are often good candidates for this program.

Young 5 classes provide support for younger learners who may benefit from the gift of an additional year. These programs help children adjust to the social and academic demands of school in a fun and hands-on environment. A young 5 curriculum provides this ‘gift of time’ so that teachers can help younger learners develop the social, motor, and academic skills necessary to succeed in kindergarten and be age appropriate and better prepared for elementary/middle school/and beyond.

Students who complete their first year in a young 5 program are promoted to kindergarten the following year along with their young 5 peers.

Kindergarten of Today

From my Kindergarten days, I seem to remember it involving heavy amounts of glue, crayons and snack times. No doubt about it, today’s Kindergarten structure and expectations have changed.

If your child is ready for a more rigorous school day, then kindergarten may be the right choice.

Kindergarten moves at a faster pace than most Young 5 programs. Children should enter kindergarten with the basic personal, social, emotional, language, motor, and academic skills necessary to succeed in school.

Guidance from National Heritage Academies

National Heritage Academies has two area schools – both with Young 5’s and kindergarten programs.

Paramount Charter Academy, located in Kalamazoo, and Endeavor Charter Academy, located in Springfield/Battle Creek, are tuition-free, public charter schools managed by National Heritage Academies.

Any student who meets the age requirements may attend charter schools. They are held to the same standards as other public school districts.

Paramount Charter Academy and Endeavor Charter Academy never set limits on how much your child can achieve and strive to create endless opportunities for your child to become their best. They offer healthy and balanced breakfast and lunch to all students and before and they have sports and clubs, as well as music and art courses.

I love the school. My child does as well. We definitely love the Young 5’s teacher. She does a great job & I love her communication ability. She is great with my child!”    -Paramount Charter Academy Parent

Make the Call Today

These decisions are obviously easier written than made. We know it can be a difficult decision. Lucky for you (and me!) National Heritage Academies schools can help navigate the complexities and help you determine what’s best for your child.

Interested in learning more? Contact Cyndi with National Heritage Academies at 269-967-5996 to receive a FREE kindergarten readiness packet and arrange a tour of either academy.

3624 S. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49008

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