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Primer School: Pre-K and Kindergarten

Pre-K and Kindergarten

We see these years as a wonderful time of exploration, exposure to great literature or "living books," and the building of a lifestyle of learning as a family. Training in manners and good habits such as attentiveness and respect for authority are also a vital part of our Primer School.

Pre-K and Kinder classes meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:10am until 2:55pm. A fine arts elective course is offered from 2:55-3:45pm. The daily schedule includes lunch, recess, and a rest time (Pre-K).

The TCS Pre-K program is available to children who are four years old as of September 1. It is designed for four year olds who are ready for an introduction to formal school or for younger five year olds who would benefit from an extra year before entering Kindergarten. Our Kindergarten program is available to children who are five years old as of September 1 and are ready to learn to read. 

What to Expect in Pre-K
Pre-K World Discovery is our literature-based exploratory program which encompasses history, science, math and art. Pre-K students also memorize nursery rhymes throughout the school year, which provides an ideal foundation for progressing to our Poetry Memorization Program in Kindergarten.  For more on why we teach nursery rhymes see http://www.amblesideonline.org/MotherGoose.shtml.

Our Pre-K teachers lay the foundation for learning to read
through the development of print awareness, letter knowledge, phonological awareness, listening comprehension and motivation to read.  Pre-K students master the 26 single-letter phonograms and several multi-letter phonograms as well. Some students start Pre-K already reading, yet still benefit greatly from the strong foundation laid by our pre-reading program. By the end of Pre-K, most of our students are beginning to read simple books. Reading aloud is a favorite part of our days at TCS. Pre-K students build attentiveness, vocabulary and language skills by listening to classic children’s novels read aloud each campus day, such as The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter, The Velveteen Rabbit, Stuart Little, The Trumpet of the Swan, and Little House in the Big Woods.
 
Pre-K students memorize Scripture, learn great hymns of the faith and Bible Truths Sound-Off Questions. Students also listen to Bible stories from well-written story Bibles and learn to apply Scripture to their lives through on campus and home discussions.

While our campus teachers provide home day lesson plans for Pre-K, they are optional at this stage and we encourage parents to be sensitive to their child's development. Co-teaching in the more formal sense begins in Kindergarten.

What to Expect in Kindergarten
Kinder World Discovery is our literature-based exploratory program which encompasses history, science, poetry and art.
Students work with maps, globes and a beginner atlas to learn continents, oceans, and major countries. The continents and oceans are also memorized as part of our recitation time. Students read about, research, and present on great Americans. In science, students learn about the planets and seasons and take nature walks on home days to collect leaves, flowers, acorns, bugs, and more! Students read and study about the many interesting creatures in the plant and animal kingdoms in their nature reader. Kinder students also develop their linguistic and rhetoric skills by memorizing classic poems and reciting them for their teacher and classmates.

Our reading and handwriting instruction are integrated and teach correct manuscript form, consonant and short vowel sounds, three-letter word formation, consonant blends, and long vowels/silent e. Most common words which do not fit into any word family are introduced after students learn to blend three letter words. Our students learn to read in kindergarten using stories with ninety percent phonetic words. They also continue to develop their reading and spelling abilities by working to master 70 basic phonograms and by writing words from dictation. By the end of kindergarten, most of our students are reading well above their grade level. 

Copybook, an exercise consisting of copying sayings, maxims, Scripture, and poetry in the student’s best handwriting, begins in Kindergarten at TCS. Copybook is an important step in developing good penmanship, punctuation, and spelling. Habits of good penmanship are instilled early and students enjoy illustrating their copybook pages. 

Our kindergarten math is taught incrementally, so that all material is frequently reviewed. Students learn number sense by skip counting, games, manipulatives and drills, all of which make math time enjoyable and help students achieve immediate recall of math facts - the primary goal in K-2.


Kinder students continue to memorize Scripture, learn great hymns of the faith and Bible Truth Sound-off Questions. Kinder teachers and co-teachers read from well-written children's story Bibles to familiarize students with the Biblical narrative.  Kinder students also memorize the names of the books of the Old and New Testaments.

Reading aloud is highly valued at TCS. Campus read aloud selections for Kinder may include Winnie the Pooh, Little House on the Prairie, Charlotte's Web, and My Father's Dragon trilogy.

For More Information
If you would like more information about the TCS Primer School programs, please attend an Information Meeting to receive an application. Students are admitted on an ongoing basis as applications are received and a waiting pool will be formed when the class size limit is reached. Questions may also be directed to admissions@tcshouston.org.