Marin Mommies presents a guest article from Marin County music educator Cindy Cohen Levy.
There are lots of great classes for toddlers and preschoolers in Marin. Have you ever wondered what a music class might teach your child?
Music classes develop many skills: kindergarten readiness skills, a love of music, and a music foundation to help a child later play an instrument. As far as kindergarten readiness, I call three of the skills the three Cs of kindergarten readiness: Concentration, Coordination, and Communication.
Music teachers can use many methods to hold and build concentration like tapping simple rhythmic patterns for the group to echo or reading simple musical notes. Kids can have lots of fun playing a variety of musical instruments or reenacting classic music stories like Peter and the Wolf.
Marin Mommies presents a guest article by dad, parenting coach, author, and co-creator of Studio Grow Tom Limbert. Learn more about him and how he helps parents and families at parentcoachtom.com.
Somewhere in a big room with a long table and a bunch of chairs, some guys decided the way to fix our failing education system in America was to cram all the curriculum down to younger children quicker and sooner. These visionaries went on to conclude that it would be a good idea to test all those children and, based on those results, reward some schools and penalize some teachers. Teachers felt the pressure so they taught more children faster. They needed those more children to be more ready when they started kindergarten in the first place. So parents felt the pressure and decided to hold most of their children back until they were “ready” for kindergarten. If you have a preschooler right now you know all too well about this pressure. Bet you’re stressed about whether your child will be ready. Hoping your school will bring him up to speed? Me too. But there’s plenty parents can be doing at home to help prepare their children for kindergarten.
Most parents immediately think of numbers, letters and colors when they think of early childhood education and kindergarten preparedness. But any preschool or kindergarten teacher will tell you, there’s much more to it. There are social and emotional elements that are much-less quantifiable than the cognitive aspects of development, but just as integral to a child’s performance in school. The good news is there are many ways you can help prepare your child for kindergarten in your home on a daily basis. You don’t even have to go out of your way really. Just be a bit more alert to learning opportunities. Keep in mind that in order for the machine that we prefer to call our schooling system to operate effectively, children will mostly have to be able to focus, follow directions and respect others.
If you're looking to enroll your child for kindergarten in a local independent school, make sure you attend the Marin Independent Schools' Kindergarten Fair on Wednesday, October 5, from 6 to 7:30 pm at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center. Each participating school will have a table where parents can pick up brochures, ask questions, and sign up to receive more information. It's a great opportunity to learn what makes each school unique!
Participating schools include Dunham Academy, Brandeis Hillel Day School, Lycee Francais International School, Marin Country Day School, Marin Montessori School, Marin Waldorf School, Saint Mark's School, Ring Mountain Day School, San Domenico School, and others.
The Kindergarten Fair takes place in the JCC's Kurland Lounge. The Osher Marin JCC is located at 200 North San Pedro Road in San Rafael.
If your pre-k or kindergarten-age child is obsessed with all things ballet, then you might want to check out Mill Valley's Joy of Dance Ballet School and their popular Ballet and Arts Half-Day Immersion Program. This program offers a fun-filled half-day for little ones centered around the "ballet du jour" drawn from popular ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Firebird. Ballets are explored though expressive arts, story books, segments from videos of the ballet and, of course, a magical ballet class.
Joy of Dance directress and teacher Jacqueline Low is well known throughout Marin for her imagination, boundless creativity, and exuberant energy. This program was so popular during last spring that Joy of Dance Ballet School is now offering it twice a week—on Mondays and Thursday from 1–4:45 pm, providing nearly four hours of fun for little dancers (and giving moms and dads a well-deserved respite).