Preparing children for Kindergarten and beyond


All families want their children to be successful in school. At God’s Garden, we prepare children for kindergarten and beyond. We teach children basic academic skills including – letters, numbers, shapes, and colors, and we teach them so much more.  We teach children to to follow rules, make good choices, solve conflicts, and to be respectful, all of which require higher order thinking.

Higher order thinking includes understanding facts, inferring from them, connecting them to other facts and concepts, categorizing them, manipulating them, putting them together in new ways, and applying them as we seek solutions to new problems. This also includes abstract concepts, schemas or mental representations, visualization, inferences, idea generation, insights, creativity, and analytical intelligence (i.e., making judgments, evaluating, comparing, contrasting, critiquing, explaining, and examining, etc.).

At God’s Garden, teachers engage children in conversations that promote higher order thinking. These conversations are integral in helping children learn to create innovative ideas and concepts that are necessary for success in school and beyond. They occur during episodes of free-choice play, small groups, large groups, circle time, and outdoor play. They begin at age 2 and continue until they complete Pre-K and move on to kindergarten.

Click Here to learn more about how to promote higher order thinking skills from “Reading Rockets”.

Preparing children for Healthy Relationships


At God’s Garden, social and emotional development is of the utmost importance.  Healthy social and emotional development creates a strong foundation for success in school and beyond.  Children with strong social and emotional skills at early ages are more likely to get a college degree, obtain and hold a job, and have fewer problems with the police than children who do not have strong social and emotional skills.  Social emotional development refers to the ability to develop close and secure relationships with others, to experience, regulate, and express emotions in socially and culturally appropriate ways, to communicate effectively with others, and to develop the confidence to explore the environment and learn.

Some social-emotional skills that support school readiness are: emotional vocabulary and intelligence, self-regulation, self-control, sharing, negotiation, intentionality, attention, cooperation, collaboration, communication, social awareness, taking-turns, empathy, coping, helping others, persistence, concentration, confidence, conflict resolution, problem solving, self-esteem, motivation, curiosity, negotiation, resiliency, responsibility, and leadership.

At God’s Garden, our teachers provide children with a foundation in positive social and emotional development by teaching children to build and maintain healthy relationships, to communicate needs and with others, to develop emotional intelligence (ability to identify emotions and to use emotions to guide thinking and actions), and to develop the ability to engage in the regulation of emotions, which is known as self-regulation.  Teachers help children recognize, understand, and label emotions through the use of books, signs, conversations, and direct experiences.  The more words we give children to describe emotions the better; this will allow children to pinpoint emotions more accurately, to communicate more effectively, and to identify appropriate regulation strategies.


Other strategies employed in the classroom include:

  • Modeling of expressing emotions, sharing personal stories, and displaying empathy.
  • Opportunities to interact and build relationships with other children and adults.
  • Making connections with students and families so they can feel safe at school.
  • Creating a School Family – this builds a sense of community and connection.
  • Focusing on relationships instead of societal roles.
  • Setting clear expectations via consistent routines, rituals, and transitions. This creates a sense of stability and security.
  • Allow your child to fail and learn from his/her mistakes
  • Utilizing conscious discipline strategies such as 2 positive choices, showing children what to do, a safe space, and calm down tools.


Social emotional development is crucial to the developing child.  Healthy social emotional development leads to success in kindergarten and beyond.  Children who experience healthy social emotional development in the first five years of life are more likely to adapt to school and form successful relationships throughout life.  Furthermore, these children are more likely to graduate from high school, attain higher education, and obtain and hold well paying jobs than children with inadequate social emotional development. This is supported by a 20-year retrospective study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and published in the July 2015 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.  At God’s Garden preschool it is our goal to ensure that every child is provided with opportunities to develop social and emotional competence, and thus enter kindergarten ready to learn.


Being actively involved in your child’s learning is directly related to your child’s success in school. So what can you do to prepare your child for school?

  • Be your child’s first teacher
  • Encourage your child to explore
  • Give your child time to process information
  • Engage with your child
  • Encourage your child to express himself
  • Encourage your child to find solutions on his/her own
  • Provide lots of opportunities for play
  • Talk to your child(ren) and often
  • Ask lots of questions
  • Sing to your child(ren)
  • Read to your child(ren) and do it often
  • Set and follow a consistent routine – children thrive on structure
  • Build a meaningful relationship with your child
  • Provide opportunities for responsibility
  • Help your child work through tantrums
  • Model problem solving as much as possible