New Classes Nurture Early Education

Melissa Moniz
Wednesday - September 24, 2008
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Giving children a head start on education garners well-deserved attention these days, highlighting the importance of preschool and kindergarten readiness.

Thus the timely opening of Kulia I Ka Nu’u (“strive for the highest”), a kindergarten-readiness program provided by Keiki O Ka Aina Family Learning Center. The free program was created especially for parents looking to give their 3- or 4-year-old children a jump forward when heading to kindergarten.

Classes began Sept. 22 at four Oahu locations, including Ewa Beach Elementary School, where it will meet at 9 a.m. every Tuesday. To register or for more information, call 843-2502.

“It’s Accelerated Interactive Montessori-Home Instruction (AIM-HI), and the idea is to teach parents to be their child’s first and best teacher,” said Vicky Draeger, director of early childhood programs.

“It uses the Montessori method, which has been used at a lot of Punana Leo schools.”

It provides parents with the tools and knowledge to engage their child/children in fun, educational activities that focus on different skills taught at a preschool level. It’s designed especially for parents who cannot, or choose not, to send their children to traditional preschool.

“The parents come once a week for an hour, and we have child care,” said Draeger. “It’s for parents with children ages 3 and 4, and it really works fine even if the child also attends pre-school.”

Each week introduces a make-and-take activity, which parents can do at home with their child. Examples are sound cylinders and manipulative math materials. And parents receive a free children’s book each month plus all the supplies that support the curriculum.

“The idea is they come, spend an hour, make something that they’ll do with their child, and they’re given a curriculum outline that gives them 15-minute lessons to be given four days a week with their child,” said Draeger.

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