Kindergarten and First Grade (5 – 7 Years)


Growing Tree Academy offers parents a small group Kindergarten and First Grade alternative which is both an extension of our quality early childhood educational program as well as a structured, highly academic experience. Our program provides a well-rounded balance of activities designed to prepare children for the first grade and second grade. Art, music, reading, math, computers, second languages, geography, “hands on history” and science are an integral part of the curriculum. Our teacher to student ratio do not exceed 1:14, and a teacher’s aide assists during certain activities. The small class size enables children to receive individualized attention which allows for progress and mastery of skills at their own pace.

Kindergarten and First Grade Curriculum

The kindergarten and first grade curriculum has been tested and refined for over twenty years. Selected reading, math and other supplemental materials from Mrs. David’s personal curriculum have proven effective with young children.

The SRA series used has a strong emphasis on phonics and an effective approach for teaching Kindergarteners to sound out words and blend sounds together. Encoding, decoding and sight reading skills are also taught in order to meet the needs of different types of learners. By the end of the school year, the children are independently “sounding out” words and reading short stories. For the First Grade student, a strong emphasis on phonics continues as we move on to spelling, diphthongs, suffixes, blends, prefixes, syllable division, patterns and exceptions, and homophone sentences. By the end of the school year, First Grade students have mastered sight reading skills and some move on to independently reading chapter books.

The focus of the mathematics curriculum reaches far beyond rote memorization and emphasizes an understanding of the concepts of patterning, counting, addition, subtraction, sequencing and sorting. “Hands On” opportunities make math activities fun, concrete and meaningful. For the Kindergarten student, recognition of numbers, money, math, time telling, simple addition and subtraction and an introduction to fractions is a part of the core curriculum.
Our First Grade students learn numbers comparisons, strategies for problem solving, regrouping, fractions, skip counting, number families, money and telling time, as well as double and triple digit addition and subtraction, number relationships of “greater or less than”, graphs, weights and lengths and word problems.

Science, Music, and Art
Science, music and art are an integral part of the program. Creativity and self-expression inspire a love of learning. Structure is balanced with the ability to make choices, have fun and enjoy the freedom of self-initiation. In order to achieve our goal of fully preparing children for entry into the first grade, curriculum is based on the learning expectancies of the California Department of Education. We also have many opportunities to perform in short presentations throughout the school year with special attention to history and the songs and dances of other cultures.