4 Questions Answered About A Religious Preschool Curriculum

Religious preschools aren't just housed in churches, temples and other similar institutions. While some do offer non-denominational programs, and most welcome children of all faiths, the underlying philosophy is often rooted in the religion's values. These beliefs may shine through in the curriculum and classroom content that the preschool chooses. With that in mind, you may have some questions about what your child learns during her preschool day and how the school infuses religion into the daily activities.

1. Are all of the lessons religion-centered? Not necessarily. Some religious preschools go the completely secular route, while others weave in the beliefs throughout the daily content. This doesn't mean that your child will be treated to an in-your-face type of religious lesson or take a 'religion' class. Instead, the curriculum may include basic values or themes that are central to the religion.

2. Are preschoolers too young to understand the religious stories that they hear (or learn about) at preschool? There's no doubt that a young child's understanding of religious verse differs than an adult's. In a study of 1,156 preschoolers, researchers at the University of Texas found that children did not believe the characters in religious stories were real. According to journal Developmental Science, the older children (i.e., the 5-year-olds) were more likely than the 3-year-olds to believe that the events in religious stories could be true.

3. If preschoolers don't fully see what's real and not real when it comes to religious stories, how can teachers help them? Early childhood educators in high-quality preschools should understand how to convey information to children on a developmentally appropriate level. Through the use of interactive read-alouds, question and answer sessions and conversation prompts, the teacher can guide the children through religious stories and how they connect to real-life. This closely ties to using a curriculum that is rooted in the religion's values. The teacher may choose to highlight the actions of the characters and how they reflect the religion's beliefs, instead of focusing on what's real or not.

4. Does a religious curriculum also include other content areas or cover early learning standards? Yes. While every curriculum differs, a religion-based version doesn't focus 100 percent of the lessons and activities on the Bible, Torah or any other religious teaching. Even a highly religion-focused curriculum crosses content areas at points. For example, your child's Christian preschool has an April Easter theme. While the teacher discusses Bible stories, she also extends the learning into like-themed art activities, reading and writing.

Understanding the curricular connections between general education and religion is a key part of feeling comfortable with your little learner's religious preschool program. Keep in mind, not every early childhood center handles religion in the same way. Some use it as a basis for their educational philosophy, while others use a much more straightforward approach and include structured religion classes or lessons. Either way, your child will receive a well-rounded education that includes a range of content areas in her religious preschool! For more information, speak with experts like Sammamish Montessori School.

About Me

how religious school made a difference for my son

Is your child struggling in public school? Are you weighing your options and trying to find an alternative for providing your child with an excellent education? Maybe now is the time to consider religious schools in your area. My son was having a very hard time in his third grade class and I knew that I had to make some kind of change if he was ever going to get through school without disliking learning. I found a local religious school and enrolled him. Two grading periods later, I saw a remarkable difference in not only his grades, but in his personality.