Thanks for stopping by A Family Place. I enjoy working with families, and sharing the power of music with them. Kindermusik provides this outlet for me. This blog will allow me to share thoughts and ideas that can help families in their journey.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is my child ready?

Here are a few thoughts about Kindermusik children moving up to a new age group. About this time of the semester Kindermusik teachers are asked, "is my child ready to move to the next class?"

Moving from the Village class (newborns - 18 months) to Our Time (18 months - 3 years). There are many differences in children between one and two years of age. Making the decision to move can be difficult, but here are some basic questions for you to consider:

Are they 18 months old?
Are they walking?
Are they showing a willingness to put instruments/props away when activities are over?
Are they interested in reading books?

The activities in Our Time don't allow for as much exploration, and thus the pace is quicker than the Village class. 16 month olds have participated successfully in Our Time. 18 month olds have benefited from staying in Village. Each child is different, and you have to make the decision based on what you see in your child.

Remember that babies grow up too fast, so don't rush this precious time...just enjoy the journey.

Kindermusik Our Time is for ages 18 months - 3 years. Imagine That ages are 3 1/2 - 5 years. What happens during that 6 month time when Our Time ends and Imagine That begins? Parents want to know if their child should move up as soon after they turn 3 or wait. They will often say things like, "they are the oldest in the Our Time class, I wonder if they should move?"

Let me give you a personal perspective. I have 4 children, the youngest is Kate. She has always been mature for her age because she was the youngest, and because she grew up with college students babysitting for her! She potty trained at 18 months. She had done music since the womb.

Kate & I attended Kindermusik with Ms. Wendy on Tuesday mornings at 9:30, and had a great time. She has a December birthday, thus turning 3 mid-year. Should we move up to Imagine That? She could have, and would have done fine...but we stayed in Our Time for another semester.

She got to be the oldest! She had lots of great ideas for us to do for the activities! We had lots of fun being together and enjoying music. When she moved up to Imagine That in the fall, she was ready.

That is my story, but here are some guidelines for you to consider with your child:

  • Separates from adult without crying; enjoys interacting with peers.
  • Thinks creatively - has moved from "what animals do you know?" to "what might we see in our pretend tree?"
  • Recognizes the needs of others; can be empathetic; take turns (usually!), understand classroom rules and why they are important
  • Developing abstract language and thought - can sustain a pretend play and enjoy developing an idea for up to 5 minutes or more.
  • Can tell stories, relate a series of ideas, connect own experiences to those of others
  • Beginning to take turns - can accept "she is playing the woodblock, and you have the tambourine today"
  • Has broad movement vocabulary, and can explore the same movement in diverse ways ("What other parts of your body can twirl?")
  • Can sit and listen to a story or musical selection for several minutes, and comment on what they have heard.
  • Knows simple shapes, colors, weather, seasons, and is beginning to count
  • Participates in singing, and reciting rhymes.
  • Chooses to participate with peers more readily than the parent...this is often an indication that your child is ready to move to the next level.
Talk with your child's teacher and get her perspective...every child is unique!

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