Early Childhood Program

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Early Childhood Program

The Early Childhood Program at Grace Lutheran School is comprised of Pre-Kindergarten, Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten. Our goal in the Early Childhood program is to educate the whole child by providing a nurturing, balanced and well-rounded Christain education. 

Pre- Kindergarten (age 3 by September 1)

Coming to school is a big step for three-to-four-year- olds. For many children it is the first opportunity to spend significant time in a structured setting outside the home or the presence of a known caregiver. Young children find a warm, welcoming environment as they transition into life in Grace’s early childhood program. It’s a joy to see children’s confidence grow as the year progresses.

Children build, touch, count, sing, and converse as we grow into a community of learners who are busy exploring life using a variety of learning styles. There are times for free-choice play, small group activities, whole-group listening, eating together, and gross motor play.

Cognitive, physical, social, and spiritual development are all part of the program at Grace. Children refine their abilities in academic areas such as math, writing, and recognizing letters. They also gain increased motor control and become more independent in self-care activities such as getting dressed to go outside and helping with clean-up. They also focus on developing solid social skills. Children learn how to be a friend and how to make friends. We lay a foundation for future spiritual growth. We learn that God loves and cares for each of us and together discover ways to praise and worship God.

Junior Kindergarten (age 4 by September 1)

Junior Kindergarten is a time for four- and five-year-olds to find their place in the world, in their families, in their friendships, and in the new experiences school can provide. The fifth year of life is an important period of growth—physically, academically, socially and spiritually.

Children’s days are filled with new discoveries as they participate in activities planned to expand their sense of wonder. We provide an environment that enriches life experiences and nurtures and stimulates children’s minds and spirits. There are many opportunities for self-expression, problem-solving, building relationships and making decisions.

Letter and number recognition, phonics, science, math and writing are all a part of our academic experiences. We dedicate time to music, physical education and fine arts. We play games and practice sharing, cooperation and good sportsmanship. We strive to instill courage and confidence along with skills that allow each child to progress at his or her own pace.

Grace provides a Christian environment for learning about how much God loves us. We hear Bible stories, sing and pray together. Most of all, we appreciate and celebrate the unique person God created each child to be.

Senior Kindergarten (age 5 by September 1)

Kindergartners are curious, energetic beyond belief, and eager to learn everything. The senior kindergarten classroom allows 
for hands-on discovery, free-choice interaction with peers and with the environment, and guided instruction from teachers.

The classroom atmosphere encourages movement, investigation, observation, and interaction between students and teacher. Through social interactions, children acquire vital problem-solving skills as they plan activities, make choices, and experience cause-and-effect happenings.

Free-choice activities at the beginning of each day allow the teacher to spend individual time with each child during the week. This 
one-on-one time allows the teacher to understand the academic and social needs of each child and to adapt the kindergarten program to accommodate children’s specific needs and strengths.

Individualized reading instruction enables children to master basic skills and advance at their own pace. Math involves hands-on experiences that help children discover the relationships between numbers, quantities and counting. Most importantly, senior kindergartners learn that they are uniquely created children of God and that Jesus’ love for them is constant and never-ending.

Our Early Childhood Program offers flexible options

Class Time Days
Pre-Kindergarten (PK) 8:15–11:30am 3 days (M-W-F), 2 days (T-Th), or 5 days (M-F)
Junior Kindergarten (JK) 8:15am–11:30am Monday through Friday
Senior Kindergarten (SK) 8:15am–3pm Monday through Friday
PK and JK: Afternoon Program (Lunch Bunch) *** 11:30am–3pm 1–5 days per week 
Pk, JK, SK: Grace Extended Care 3–6pm 1–5 days per week

Early Childhood students can be at Grace all day. They attend full day program and then move  to the nearby Grace extended care room at 3 pm.

***The school day for these PK and JK students includes time for lunch, rest time, and organized learning activities.

Come see our Early Childhood Program face to face. Schedule a visit! 

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7300 Division Street | River Forest, IL 60305 | (708) 366-6900