"God Made Me for 6 Year Olds!"
At Christian Academy of Knoxville, we offer a few different options for students who need extra enrichment. From our Junior K, which provides for an extra year before Kindergarten, to our Academic Centers, to our Pre-1st program, which is what we will explore below.
Pre-1st uses different curriculum approaches than Kindergarten to further lay the educational, social, and emotional foundations before 1st grade. “The ability to develop my relationship with each child is definitely a positive aspect,” says CAK pre-1st teacher Ms. Carol Shipley. “Smaller class sizes are valued by CAK’s administration, so there is the freedom to pursue conversations which sometimes evolve into a deeper understanding of who a child is and how he learns.”
Diving deeper is exactly what pre-1st is all about. Critical pre-reading and reading skills are emphasized, along with math activities that use concrete, representational, and abstract continuums. Bible stories are studied for spiritual insight and application to our daily lives, as we look expectantly to see how God is with us each day.
“The thing I most love about teaching at CAK is the wide-open door to walk, talk, and breath the life of Jesus throughout the day,” says Shipley. “Every aspect of being a teacher allows me to let His life in me address each situation.”
Our pre-1st students learn how to incorporate the values of being Servants, Scholars, and Disciples into their daily lives. One of the favorite parts of the year is when the children become “secret servants,” giving back to the campus community with secret “do good” missions.
This extra year of growth also provides students with a chance to build stamina as they complete classroom assignments, explore literature fully, and take meaningful field trips.
“My absolute favorite thing about my job is that God made me for 6-year-olds!”
“They are an endless source of joy, hilarity, curiosity, and amazement,” adds Shipley. “My favorite memory is, fortunately, one that is often repeated: that time when a child's eyes light up, and they realize that they CAN do something they previously thought they could not! “That sense of accomplishment builds fortitude, instills hope, and creates a grateful heart. How wonderful to spend my days seeing and participating in the growth of one of God's creations!”