Preschool for English Language Learners

Kindergarten is not the best place for five year olds to start learning English. Unfortunately, too many English language learners (ELL) preschoolers are not getting the head start in learning that they need. Some parents have a belief that preschool is an expensive luxury and not necessary for children whose first language is not English. There is a belief that these children will somehow “pick up the language “ quickly. While this may be true, enrolling these children in preschool gives these children a better advantage. These same children who have been given the benefit of English Language Learning in a preschool setting are much more prepared for a kindergarten classroom. Too many families who don’t speak English do not realize or know that select approved licensed preschools like Think Sun have Alberta government approved agencies that provide free assistance for English Language Learners. Further there are subsidies available for stay at home parents that will enable these preschoolers to have a head start on English Language Learning.

This is not to say that preserving first language is not important. It is saying that giving all children a head start for kindergarten is something that shouldn’t be missed.

Why Preschool?

Preschool is sometimes viewed as a luxury.  However, the first five years are key to a child’s development. With the increasing use of technology, preschoolers are lagging in cognitive, fine and gross motor skills. Preschool classes are an important part of assisting in the development of key skills needed for kindergarten. Yes, quality programs are expensive, and, for ten months, it seems like all you do is rush to drop off and rush to pick up your child. However, those ten months of sacrifice ensures that your child is ready to tackle kindergarten and beyond with confidence.

The Think Sun Preschool prepares preschoolers who will be attending John Costello Elementary, St Joan of Arc Elementary, Battalion Park Elementary, Olympic Heights Elementary.

Think Sun Preschool prepares children for private school kindergarten.

Are you considering private schools such as Masters Academy, Rundle College, Webber Academy or Calgary French International School?

Calgary parents are blessed with a variety of private school options. However, some, not all, private schools have entrance tests for prospective kindergarten students.

Think Sun graduates are prepared for a variety of classrooms and are more than prepared for any type of learning situation. Through our cross curriculum, we ensure that our students are familiar with phonics, letter and number recognition. Further our graduates are able to follow oral and visual directions as well as creatively and independently problem solve. We are proud of our proven program and are confident in our graduates’ preparedness for Masters Academy, Calgary French International School, Webber Academy and Rundle College.

Late Fall/Winter Birthday children and Kindergarten


Nothing creates more angst, anger and defensiveness in parents than the discussion regarding the enrollment of late fall/winter birthday children in kindergarten.

Just to let you know dear readers, I am vehemently against a four year old in kindergarten. These children are generally socially, cognitively, physically and intellectually at a disadvantage if starting kindergarten at this time. These children are youngest in their classes. Their brain development is at least 12-18 months behind other children who’s parents have opted to defer their child’s entry into kindergarten.

These youngest children are four for over half the school year. Expectations for listening, printing, reading and understanding concepts of the curriculum are for a five year old brain. These children function not at the top of the class but rather in the middle or lower part of the class.

I want parents to look ahead to their child’s future. Junior high is hard enough for age appropriate students. These children are 11 years old in grade 7 for over half the year. And at the age of 13, these children must decide their high school courses! They will be in grade 12 at the age of 16. Somehow their marks must be high enough to open doors to their future. But they are competing with all those other students who have led the way simply by virtue of that extra year of brain growth their parents gave them back before kindergarten.

So I beg parents to think long and hard. Yes daycare is expensive and preschool is also a pain to get to. But it is 10 months of sacrifice. The benefits of deferring entry so that your child is amongst the eldest has far reaching results. Eldest in class has the advantage of more confidence in withstanding negative peer group pressure. These children are able to quickly grasp concepts, are physically able to coordinate their bodies to participate in sports activities and their brains have had that time to develop. This results in a happier, more confident child eager to tackle all aspects of education.

In 29 years of teaching preschoolers, I have yet to meet a parent that regretted that extra year. I have heard plenty of parents of junior high children who regretted not giving their child that extra year.