The year spent in the Shoes class is a magical time when children transition into independent boys and girls. The class is for four-year-olds. Most of the children from this class will stay for another year in our oldest pre-k classes, the Frogs or Dragonflies, while some will move on to kindergarten or transitional-kindergarten. The teachers listen carefully to parents’ goals for their child and everyone is prepared for their next transition. The Shoes class is available for families who prefer three mornings per week. Both of our pre-k classes are Monday-Thursday programs.
In the Shoes class the emphasis is on emotional and social growth. Children begin to develop their sense of self while discovering their role in a larger group. ·One of our goals is to help advance our children’s communication skills. We recognize that children need to express their feelings in ways that are healthy and effective. We offer gentle guidance and promote independence to help develop a strong and resilient self-esteem.
Over the years kindergarten in public and private schools has changed drastically and we have had to grow and change as well. With the advent of transitional kindergarten we now recognize that some of our students will be leaving our program at the Shoes class level. In conversation with parents, we become aware of which children will be leaving and therefore may require a bit more experience. The whole class will be working on self-reliance, independence and a working awareness of letter sounds and numbers as a part of children’s preparedness. Because of the changes in California’s requirements of young children, we have to begin bringing these subjects forward at a younger age, even though we do object to such standards at such young ages, this is the reality we all face.
The Shoes class is one that is essential for the three to four year old group. It is a time when these children grow out of their toddler-like tendencies and into a more developed place, where they are then able to handle themselves with the maturity befitting a child on his or her way to an older class. They learn sensitivity and respect towards others through help with conflict resolution and the expression of personal feelings. The children enjoy each other’s company through singing, reading, and having a wonderful time together.