Why Kindergarten Gear Up?
The primary goal of Kindergarten Gear Up is to provide preschool-aged children with some of the social and academic skills that they will need to set them up for success in kindergarten. Kindergarten readiness is a key factor in ensuring a child’s academic and social success.
This 10-week themed curriculum guide will provide young children with opportunities to speak, write, listen, read, sing, and be physically active both with and without caregiver guidance. The lessons build upon one another, allowing for new skills to be practiced and reinforced each week. Children should leave this program feeling more independent and ready to enter a kindergarten classroom.
This program also includes lessons that will help prepare caregivers for their children’s transition into kindergarten. As a result of this program, caregivers will learn how to better support their children on their journey. Caregivers will learn ways to help prepare their children socially and academically. They will also learn what will be expected of their children in kindergarten and how they can support and advocate for their children once they are in school. Both caregivers and children should complete this program feeling more confident and ready for kindergarten.
This program requires young children and their caregivers to attend ten one-hour class sessions. Each lesson focuses on a specific theme that prepares them for kindergarten. All activities in each lesson support the weekly theme.
The first part of the hour is focused on activities that caregivers and young children do together. For the last part of the hour, caregivers and their children are separated. Caregivers will participate in a “Caregiver Gear Up” program in which they will learn some tools to help their child meet the lesson goals, participate in peer-to-peer learning, and introduced to community experts. Meanwhile, their young children are engaging in activities that will advance their skills and content knowledge related to the weekly theme. As such, the young children are gradually learning how to be independent learners.
This curriculum guide consists of the following components:
- Kindergarten Gear Up Lesson – This is a set of instructions for the librarian who will be facilitating the lessons. These activities are designed for the children.
- Caregiver Gear Up Lesson – This is a set of instructions for the librarian who will be facilitating the lesson. These activities are designed for the caregivers.
- Caregiver Handout – This is a handout for caregivers. It describes the week’s learning goals, provides tips/activities for caregivers to do at home, and a list of recommended books. This handout can be given to caregivers during the Caregiver Gear Up lesson.
Facilitators can adjust the lessons as needed to accommodate for time constraints and the skills of the children in the group. This means facilitators can choose to not do some activities or modify the activities. Caregiver sessions should be shorter during the first few lessons, and this should slowly increase as the children become more accustomed to their caregiver being separated from them.