What Should A Child Learn In VPK?
The purpose of VPK (Voluntary PreKindergarten) is to prepare your child for Kindergarten. Many believe the most important skills are those of emergent reading. After all reading is the gateway to all other subjects. Others say it is the social skills needed to focus on the teacher and not the other kids. The conflict comes in the approach. As one preschool expert explained, “Schools teach curriculum; preschools teach children.” Children are sponges. But they absorb physical, social and academic skills through play. With this in mind we designed games to teach those skills.
Skills Learned through Play
For this reason, Rocket Phonics designed games that train reading readiness. The child can play, develop social skills and have fun. And the games meet the VPK emergent reader standards.
For example, Standard 1 Benchmark (a) is “Engages in multiple back-and-forth communicative interactions with adults.” Every game meets this standard. Similarly, Standard 3 “Shows alphabetic and print knowledge” we use the Word Find Game which is like an Easter egg hunt with words to meet this standard. So the kids get to be kids. And the preschool gets to be a preschool.
In order to test this ideal, Rocket Phonics games were tried in a preschool twice a week for two months. The results showed a third of the four-year-olds were reading words. This is well above state requirements! And the rest were well on their way and their parents were very happy.
It’s important to realize, VPK is evaluated only for academic aspect of school readiness. Therefore, the assessment has 4 areas: Print Knowledge, Phonological Awareness, Oral Language Vocabulary and Mathematics (number sense). Rocket Phonics easily covers the first three without turning preschool into a school. Preschools are freed to do what they were originally designed for in the first place. Preschools help children to interact with many children their age.
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