Pre-K (4 yo - until Kindergarten)
At this age the children really start focusing on becoming ready for Kindergarten! They become increasingly aware of the world around them and feel delight in interacting and experimenting with their surroundings. They gain independence and self control.
Through the fall, winter and spring we actively work on Minnesota standards for Kindergarten. The director Irina Faulise has an active teaching license and has worked in schools for 7+ years, so she is very well aware of what children should know when they start Kindergarten. No only our Sunflower children know all letters (capital and lower case), sounds, colors, shapes, etc., in English, they also know them all in Russian. As for our kids from English-only families, they understand and speak Russian too and participate in all concerts, singing songs in Russian.
We assess our preschoolers twice a year and have parent-teacher conferences. When summer comes, we review all the material learned, but we also spend lots of time on the playground, go to the local wading pool, go for a walk or to a small nearby park.
Our children from English-only speaking families do really well learning Russian when they come to us young - to our infant room and to toddlers’ group. The younger the child is the more absorbent his/her mind is and both languages are acquired much faster and easier versus when a child is in preschool.
Here is what our families have to say about our Pre-K program:
Our son started going to Sunflower at the age of 3 and now he is already 5.5, he is getting ready to go to school. The most important thing for parents at this time is the preparation of the child for school. And in this we are completely calm, thanks to Irina and teachers. Our son already knows the letters of both the English and Russian alphabets, can count in two languages, writes his name in two languages, knows all the colors and shapes, also in two languages.
Every day he tells us something interesting that he learned today. The program is very varied and exciting for children. It was important for us that in the kindergarten the child also studied his native culture, got acquainted with Russian-language children's literature and songs. All this is also included in the Sunflower program.
I would also like to celebrate the holidays - always cheerful, interesting, what is important - both American and "ours", with gifts for children!
Special thanks to the wonderful teachers! How much love and care we see every day! The kids love them so much!!!
Irina, we wish your center prosperity! Thank you for helping us raise smart, healthy and happy kids!