Our four-year-old program is a dynamic environment to prepare children for their next step to kindergarten. It is a play-based learning environment where all academic knowledge is integrated into their day. They are taking in pre-reading and pre-writing skills without even knowing it. These children also use Handwriting Without Tears (www.hwtears.com) to develop those skills needed for kindergarten. We also focus on the social-emotional skills necessary to be successful in kindergarten (i.e. following routines, following directions, independence, etc.). This class meets 3, 4/5 days per week. The class size for fours is 14 children to 2 teachers. 

A Word On Kindergarten Readiness

When children are preparing to leave the world of preschool and move into a kindergarten classroom, there are some skills and attributes that are essential for them to have in order to be successful. Our classrooms here at Good Shepherd promote the development of these skills in a play-based, child-centered environment. You can use this document along with input from your child’s teacher to help you understand how we are helping to prepare your child for kindergarten. Every child is unique and at a different place in development, but this will provide a guide for what to look for in being assured that your child is well-prepared to start a new schooling adventure.

Social/Emotional Development

 Does your child…

  •  Use words to solve problems when angry
  • Use words such as “please” and “thank you”
  • Attempt new tasks knowing it is ok to make mistakes
  • Want to do things for himself/herself
  • Have success in taking turns / sharing
  • Interact appropriately with peers
  • Have friends
  • Ask for help when necessary
  • Stay with an activity until completion
  • Follow through when given directions
  • Comply with rules, limits, and routines
  • Interact appropriately with adults
  • Respect the rights, property and feelings of others

Physical Development

Does your child…

  • Put puzzles together
  • Cut with scissors
  • Try to tie his/her shoes
  • Enjoy outdoor play such as running and jumping
  • Hold a crayon or marker
  • Ride a tricycle
  • Bounce a ball

Concept Development

Does your child…

  • Recognize and/or name colors
  • Match or sort items by color and shape
  • Participate in art and music activities
  • Understand prepositional concepts
  • Know his/her body parts
  • Draw a picture of himself/herself including head, body, arms, and legs
  • Demonstrate curiosity, persistence, and exploratory behavior

Language Development

Does your child…

  • Talk in sentences
  • Follow through when you give 1-2 part directions
  • Use descriptive language
  • Use simple conversational sentences
  • Sing and/or recite nursery rhymes
  • Use sentences that include two or more separate ideas
  • Pretend, create, and make-up songs and stories
  • Talk about everyday experiences
  • Ask questions about how things work in the world around him/her, show curiosity
  • Express his/her ideas so that others can understand
  • Tell or retell stories

Reading Development

Does your child…

  • Enjoy getting a book as a present
  • Have books of his/her own and a place to keep them
  • Recognize his/her/friend’s name in print
  •  Look at books on his/her own
  • Read stories to you
  • Try to read in everyday situations (street signs, classroom signs, etc.)
  • Try to talk about or retell stories heard at school
  • Pretend to read books by reading the pictures

Writing Development

Does your child…

  • Try to write, scribble, or draw
  • Have a collection of paper, pencils, and crayons
  • Like to receive notes from you and others
  • Ask you to write words or notes to people
  • Use chalk or magnetic letters
  • Attempt to write letters or numbers
  • Attempt to write his/her name
  • Attempt to invent his/her own spelling while writing
  • See you writing

Number Concept Development

Does your child…

  • Arrange items in groups according to size, shape or color
  • Group items that are the same
  • Arrange toys or objects in size order, big to small
  • Use words like bigger, smaller, heaviest, etc.
  • Compare the size of groups of toys or items
  • Correctly count four to ten objects
  • Show an understanding of the passing of time

For more reading about Kindergarten Readiness, check out these articles...

Making the Move to Kindergarten: A Guide for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Families

Early Childhood NC / Kindergarten Readiness

Ready or Not Kindergarten, Here We Come! by Tracy Galuski

Readiness: Not a State of Knowledge, but a State of Mind by Dr. Dan Gartrell





A Word from our Fours Teacher, Ms. Amy...

"I love to teach because making a difference in children's lives can change the future! Children are little sponges...helping them learn is an honor."

"Fours are special because they are at the age where you can inspire and instill a love of learning. That is SO important for them to have before going to 'big kid' school!"

"I love to see a child realize how very smart they are when they grasp a new concept or skill."

"At school we enjoy learning through singing, playing and socializing."

A Word from our Fours Teacher, Ms. Donna...

"I love to teach because there is a such a joy for life and learning in preschool. It is wonderful to watch them play and learn."

"Fours are special because they change and grow so much in the year before they go to kindergarten."

"I love to see a child accomplish a task for the first time and seeing how proud they are of themselves."

"At school we enjoy learning, playing, art, and having busy happy days at school."

A Word from our Fours Teacher, Ms. Maureen...

"I love to teach because children love to learn. We have so much fun together."

"Fours are special because they are all unique. It's a joy for me to get to know them. It's a privilege for me to earn their trust."

"I love to see a child pretend, invent, imagine, play and grow."

"At school we enjoy pretending to be mommies and daddies, princesses, tigers, dinosaurs, fire fighters, race car drivers..."