The “Beginning Grammar Stage” occurs during the early years of learning when children begin to understand the “nuts and bolts” of how the world around them works. In the earliest years, this is done through interactions with parents, family, and caregivers, listening to quality stories, as well as exploration by using the five senses. As children move into later preschool years (Prekindergarten/VPK), they begin to expand on these experiences, while learning new concepts through their developmental readiness.
For our prekindergartners:
- The exposure to God’s world, taught through the biblical lens of truth/goodness/beauty, becomes a focus through the structured study of virtues. These concepts are supported by pointing children to examples of virtuous living during their academic studies, as well as when they are taught how to honor God through their actions.
- Examples of some of the virtues that might be taught are: Kindness, courtesy, attention, courage, patience, truthfulness, etc.
- Quality and classic literature are another focus during this time. Although other prereading and writing skills are being established, we know that when children listen to excellent literature which is read aloud (often above their current vocabulary level), small children become better equipped to read and write in the future. Good auditory language learning is a strong pre-curser to good visual language learning. (In addition to aiding reading skills, quality literature also helps to support the moral development of children.)
- Examples of literature that might be read to children: Charlotte’s Web, Aesop’s Fables, Arnold Lobel stories, Don Freeman stories, James Herriot’s Stories, etc.
- Memory work is introduced in order to “train the brain” for memory. This gives children a strong foundation for future memorization and application of knowledge, even the memorization of foreign languages!
- Examples of some of the memory work that might be taught: Various children’s prayers, Psalm 9:1-2 Psalm of Thanksgiving, Luke 2: 8-12 The account of Jesus’ birth, a selection of nursey rhymes, a selection of classic tales, etc.