Why Choose Christian Preschool for Your Child


When looking for a preschool, you must consider more than just the school’s approach to curriculum and discipline. There are big differences between your average preschool and a high-quality Christian preschool, and other qualities to look for beyond the class size and great facilities.

Getting Your Preschool Child Kindergarten Ready


There are many ways to help your child be kindergarten ready. They don’t need to be reading by themselves, or capable of sitting for 8 hours, to be ready for the classroom environment! However, there are some key ideas that your little one needs to understand. Working at home or letting them develop skills in a curriculum-based preschool are both viable options for helping them grasp these concepts.

Social and Language Development

A child ready for kindergarten should have some awareness that they belong to a larger community. Their sense of citizenship, and their willingness to pitch in for the good of those around them, will help them have a better transition to a classroom setting. Encourage this concept by giving your child simple household chores, like making their bed or cleaning up after themselves. Preschool can also be a perfect way to help your child socialize and learn how to behave in a structured environment.

Language skills can be developed by identifying and writing letters and sounds. Read to them every day, and try to instill a love of reading. Ask them questions about what happened in the story so they can hone their comprehension skills.

A kindergarten ready child should be able to:

  • take turns
  • ask for help with a difficult task
  • follow two-step directions
  • listen during reading time
  • identify and draw most upper and lowercase letters

Cognitive Development

Talking about nutrition (fruits/vegetables), directions (up/down, over/under), and numbers (we walked 10 steps), will help your child be cognitively ready for their next stage of learning. The grocery store or garden is a wonderful place to teach your child about fresh food and healthy eating, and counting things you see throughout the day is excellent practice.

Preschool can also be a wonderful way to get past these more challenging cognitive hurdles. Preschoolers enrolled in curriculum based preschool, such as FCS, enjoy the benefits of a program that teaches reading, writing, math and motor development in fun and purposeful ways.

A kindergarten ready child should be able to:

  • write the numbers 1 – 10
  • sort things by color or shape
  • understand opposites, like big/little or short/tall
  • make patterns with color

Fine and Gross Motor Skills

Time spent in front of a computer screen detracts from a child’s ability to develop fine and gross motor skills. While interacting with an iPad can be highly educational, make sure your child is spending plenty of time with crayons and paper. Let them draw, write, and color! To work on gross motor skills, like jumping and running, give them daily outdoor play. Learning to hold a pencil correctly, or balance on a beam, are more important than you may think.

A kindergarten ready child should be able to:

  • stack blocks
  • cut shapes with scissors
  • write their name, starting each letter from the top
  • run, jump, and skip

Creative Arts

Get creative with your child, letting them paint or do crafts. Also, imaginary play should be encouraged! Let them make believe, and occasionally join them in the world they’ve created.

A kindergarten ready child should be able to:

  • recognize the colors of the rainbow, or a basic crayon box
  • be inventive during craft time

How do you know if your child is kindergarten ready?

As a parent, you will likely see signs of your child’s readiness for kindergarten. If they can follow simple directions, sit still, use the bathroom by themselves, recognize some letters and numbers, and get along with other children, there is a good chance kindergarten is their next step. At Fredericksburg Christian School, we take time to assess each child to make sure they are placed in an environment where they can succeed. Learn about our admissions process, or call 540-373-5355 for more information.

Resources:

http://www.icanteachmychild.com/71-things-your-child-needs-to-know-before-kindergarten/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2014/06/19/how-to-get-your-kid-ready-for-kindergarten-its-not-what-you-think/

http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/starting-preschool/curriculum/why-preschool-matters/

https://www.care.com/a/8-signs-that-your-child-is-ready-to-start-kindergarten-1207130719

The First Day of Kindergarten–Together


The first day of kindergarten is a day your child will always remember. At Fredericksburg Christian School, YOU will remember it too, because you get to experience it with them.

Even though you’ve toured the school (if you haven’t had a tour yet, call us!), that first day at kindergarten is a special one, and children and parents alike benefit from attending together. Spending the first day together affords you both the opportunity to get to know the teacher, experience the classroom, and meet other children and their parents. “We want the first day to be a positive one for them,” says Amy Rudd, kindergarten teacher, “they have an important school year ahead of them. When the children come back the next day without their parents they feel more comfortable, and their teacher is not a stranger — they also know other children.”

Assessing A Child’s Readiness for Kindergarten

Before getting to that “first day,” Fredericksburg Christian School assesses your child to make sure they are ready for Kindergarten.

“We don’t expect the children to have all the skills when they get here,”  says Amy, “We just want to make sure they are developmentally ready to learn those skills.”

In this assessment the teacher will determine if your child is able sit for a period of time and if they are able to follow directions. The assessment helps us discover how they are doing with fine and gross motor skills and whether they have some letter recognition. These are a few of the things learned through this approach. Amy shares that some parents are nervous about the assessment. “We just want them to be successful and not struggle. Sometimes the best gift you can give your child is a little more time to be ready.”

Parents Sometimes Have Concerns

The kindergarten teachers are aware of the concerns parents have when putting their child in school for the first time. For some, it is the concern of releasing them into someone else’s care and knowing that they will be loved and nurtured. “We want to do everything we can to ease their concerns and make sure they know and feel they are in a safe place.”

Some parents are also concerned about how their child will behave at school. Amy’s experience tells her that most children behave very differently at school than what their parents might expect, and there is little need for that concern. “They just need to come in with a positive attitude,” said Amy.

A Bright and Loving Classroom Environment

When asked what the environment was like in her classroom, Amy stated, “We want the children to know they are loved. We learn their names very quickly, which makes them feel comfortable. Our classrooms are fun, bright and exciting. On Orientation Day we let them know about some of things they get to do throughout the year, which helps build excitement for them.”

Sometimes the children are even sent a letter from their new teacher during the summer, so when they get to school they have already established an initial positive contact.

The Value of Chapel

One thing that sets FCS apart is their desire for the students to understand and know Christ. They hold chapels that parents are invited to attend. At chapel they sing together, listen to a short and relevant message for their age level, and then one of the classes sings for the parents.

Knowing Jesus not only comes at chapel time, but it is incorporated in all subjects so the students will build a Biblical worldview.

The Teacher’s Perspective

When Amy was asked what the one thing is that she would like everyone to know she said,

“We create lessons strategically to help the students grow academically and want to ensure that they are prepared to move forward. We work on character development and want to see them grow socially and emotionally. Our greatest desire is to see them realize that Jesus loves them and that they come to know that He is with them in every aspect of their day. We want them to be little lights that shine brightly for Him!”

Faculty Q&A | Mardi Antosh | 5th Grade


How long have you been teaching at Fredericksburg Christian School (FCS)?

23 years

And what do you teach?

5th grade

What is the best part of your job?

The students

What motivated you to become a teacher at FCS?

To teach integrating faith in the Lord Jesus in every subject. I worked at a Christian school previously in Florida, and when our children began attending here, Andy Foss asked me to teach in the middle school.

How do you incorporate a Christian worldview in your classroom?

I want my students to see how the world views history and how the Bible is our foundation to defend our faith.

What is unique about yourself — something that shapes the learning experience for your students?

I grew up overseas in Germany and attended English schools in London until the eighth grade. I still draw from those experiences.

What sets FCS students apart from those at other schools?

Their relationships with Christ.

Our tagline is: Educating Christian leaders. For life. How do you accomplish that as a faculty member?

I pray my students will continue to live out their faith as they enter college and gain independence. The choices they make now begin to set a foundation for their future choices. Learning Biblical solutions for peacemaking in their relationships now is key.

What do you want students to gain from having known you?

The love of words, reading and learning.