4-5 years old
At this point in psychosocial development, children begin to assert their power and control over the world through directing play and other social interactions.
Children who are successful at this stage feel capable and able to lead others. Those who fail to acquire these skills are left with a sense of guilt, self-doubt, and lack of initiative.
We fill our pre-kindergarten curricula with hands-on projects and active play. Academically, we emphasize literacy and math, and dedicating blocks of time to skill mastery. We then spark students’ interests by tailoring the curriculum and giving children leadership opportunities to explore, investigate, hypothesize, create and discover. This gives them ownership of their learning as well as critical practice in problem-solving, communicating and collaborating.
Listening, speaking, reading, and writing are all areas of focus in building literacy skills. Children will learn to make meaningful connections between reading and writing.
In kindergarten, we take initiative, try out new things, and learn basic principles like how round things roll. We ask: Is it okay for me to do what I do? If we are encouraged, we can follow our interests. If we are held back or told that what we do is silly, we can develop guilt. We are now learning from the entire family.
5-6 years old
Through social interactions, children begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments and abilities. Children who are encouraged and commended by parents and teachers develop a feeling of competence and belief in their skills.
Those who receive little or no encouragement from parents, teachers, or peers will doubt their abilities to be successful.
Successfully finding a balance at this stage of psychosocial development leads to the strength known as competence, in which children develop a belief their abilities to handle the tasks set before them.
Through both teacher-directed and self-directed activities, the social, emotional, creative, and intellectual growth of each child is encouraged. Building a strong community in which the children are comfortable taking risks and in which they appreciate, and feel appreciated by their peers lays the groundwork for their years ahead.
Hands-on discovery and concrete experiences form the basis for mastery of number readiness skills and basic mathematical concepts. In social studies, students explore beyond their school and family environments through classroom investigations of settings such as their neighborhoods, and animals habitat.
Children learn to work and play constructively, developing concepts, skills and work habits that continually reinforce each other and prepare them for increasingly sophisticated tasks.
Now we discover our own interests and realize that we are different from others. We want to show that we can do things right. We ask if we can make it in this world? If we receive recognition from our teachers or peers we become industrious, which is another word for hard-working. If we get too much negative feedback, we start to feel inferior and lose motivation. Our neighbors and schools now influence us the most.