Westside Christian Academy launches pre-kindergarten

Kourtney Sladek will teach the inaugural pre-kindergarten class at Westside Christian Academy when it begins this fall.

What exactly should a parent look for in a pre-kindergarten program? It was the question Kourtney Sladek, Westside Christian Academy’s new pre-kindergarten teacher, knew parents would be asking and it guided her in designing the program. The answer also was meaningful because she too is the parent of a preschooler.

“Was it more important to me that they be able to recite letter sounds? To name an octagon? To make cute crafts for holidays?” Sladek asked. “But what if my goal for my child was not to compete with the world but to lay a strong, meaningful foundation for education? What if I desired to have my children learn truths about God and themselves?”

The pre-kindergarten program at the Westlake school will run three days a week: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30-11:00 a.m. for children who turned 4 years old before Aug. 1. The program will offer developmentally appropriate academics that recognize the nature of these young children as God created them in an environment that points them to Jesus Christ.

Registration is open now. First day of class is Tuesday, Sept. 6.

“We eagerly anticipate our pre-kindergarten class led by an exceptional early childhood educator. For three mornings per week, these four-year olds will have an enriching experience that introduces them and their families to the richness of a classical and Christian education,” said Jim Whiteman, headmaster at WCA.

Sladek said they will focus on the process of learning with the goal of students loving the Lord and to love learning. They will spend time reading the works of great authors, engaging with math in ways they can touch and see, and exploring the world in a manner that is meaningful and relevant to them.

Loving to learn with all classes taught from a Biblical worldview is an approach that every child enrolled in WCA’s classical curriculum experiences. The school, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, is adding both the Pre-K program to the Grammar School (Pre-K to grade 6) and grade 10 to the Upper School (grades 7 to 12) this fall. The curriculum includes a strong emphasis on grammar, logic, rhetoric and Latin as well as history, science, mathematics and the arts.

“This approach will prepare them not just for beginning a classical education but for a lifetime of seeking wisdom,” said Sladek. “The unique culture of WCA means opportunities to learn from, work with and get to know older students.” The students form “family groups” with older children leading the younger ones in various activities and special events during the school year. It gives the younger students a sense of belonging and the older ones have an opportunity to practice the leadership skills they are learning. The school also encourages parents to be involved in the education of their children, coming alongside them as a partner. Pre-kindergarten will not be an exception.

“Parents can be involved in their child's learning process, coming in to volunteer and assist in the classroom so they can see a new side of their child, meet their peers, and develop relationships with other families,” said Sladek.

To learn more about the program, visit westsideacademy.org.

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Volume 8, Issue 15, Posted 9:05 AM, 08.02.2016