Kindergarten at St. Stephen’s Academy aims to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning. Although we have academic goals, physical goals, spiritual goals, and plans for reaching milestones in many other areas, our main focus is to ignite a spark of excitement for education in our young learners. Since St. Stephen’s teaches in the classical Christian method, we want our children to be taught in the manner that suits their strengths at each age, coming from a strong biblical worldview.
In Kindergarten, children generally have innate abilities to commit facts to memory. This is utilized in our classroom through memorization of phonetic sounds that are the keys for reading and language; poetry memorization to help children become familiar with literature and composition concepts of meter, rhyme, simile and the like; and scripture memory to help children think on things that are true, good, and noble.
Children at St. Stephen’s are also taught Bible and history lessons that make the world around them, including past, present, and future, come alive with rich discoveries and accounts of God’s guiding hand throughout all eras. Science lessons teach the children to open their eyes to the creation God has made and to praise Him for His creative and wise design of all things. Math teaches them the nuts and bolts of numbers, but also the orderliness and beauty of the structure God has built into our world, from number lines to geometry. Our penmanship program introduces cursive from the beginning, which has been shown to be a more developmentally appropriate form of writing than manuscript printing. Children take to their cursive letters with enthusiasm, practicing them in the air, on their tables in shaving cream, outside with sidewalk chalk, and applying pencil to paper in a fun, low-pressure environment.
Our methods come from time-honored, proven techniques that have stood the test of many generations. We do not flit from trend to trend, as many institutions do, but we focus our efforts on teaching useful, academically stringent skills. While there is heavy focus on academics, there is also a deep desire to teach each child’s heart to be a thankful worshiper, a hard worker, and a kind classmate. Our classroom is blessed with valuable resources over which God wants us to be good stewards, and by His grace, we steward the minds and hearts of each Kindergarten student as the most precious resources in our hands.
Our optional Enrichment program is for current Kindergarten students. The program cues into the activities and curriculum that the regular Kindergarten class is working on and offers additional skills practice in the afternoons. Enrichment provides exposure to quality literature and poetry, Bible memory and character training, as well as guided and free play.