Pre-K Learning a Crucial Milestone
Most of us spend at least 13 years of our lives in formal education settings, so what would you say if asked, “What year was the most important?” An excellent answer would be “Pre-K.” Perhaps you’re surprised that learning colors, shapes, and letter sounds stacks up so high, but studies have shown that preschool education leads to measurable gains on achievement test scores, as well as decreased grade retention, increased high school graduation rates, lower crime rates, and increased lifetime earnings.
The first five years of a child’s life are a period of rapid growth and development. By age four, 85 percent of the core structure of the human brain is formed. It seems that our littlest ones are indeed a bit like “sponges,” absorbing everything that goes on around them.
In addition to cognitive growth and increasing linguistic capacity, young children develop new physical skills every day, from picking up tiny peas to navigating stairs. They’re also expanding awareness and negotiation of ability to build socio-emotional relationships with other children and adults.
Because the preschool years are so vital to healthy development, the Product Development Team at K12 has entered that realm with the introduction of EmbarK12 Comprehensive.
Through open-minded creativity, the product development team developed a curriculum that reflects the latest educational research, developmentally appropriate activities, and a blend of hands-on fun with captivating digital experiences.
If you’ve observed kids today, you know how enthusiastic they are about technology. Children embrace interactive media and are quite comfortable with digital devices, as they are surrounded by peers and caregivers with computers, smartphones, or tablets. These tools for communication and collaboration have transformed our society, and young children want to be part of the action.
EmbarK12 content comes alive in a multidisciplinary, thematic program that captures and sustains children’s attention, while motivating them to want to learn more. Designers succeeded in building colorful, interactive online activities with audio narration that invite children to participate and respond. Instructional Guides describe kinesthetic activities with movement, socio-dramatic play, artwork, rhythm, and music that inspire children to be delightfully engaged. To make sure that young learners develop literacy skills and an appreciation for literature, a collection of award-winning children’s books are part of the EmbarK12 program.
EmbarK12 fully prepares children for kindergarten. Pre-K content is 81 percent aligned with Common Core Standards for kindergarten. It also aligns with the Head Start Early Learning Framework and available state standards for Pre-K.
Whether it’s math, communication skills, science, social studies, art, or music that excite your child, EmbarK12 provides a flexible, customizable learning adventure.
Melissa King, director of early learning and product advancement for K12, has more than 35 years of experience as an educator. She holds a Ph.D. in science education from George Mason University and master's degree in linguistics from the University of California at Davis. She recently served as lead content specialist for a new blended program for pre-K learners. Dr. King has co-authored several books, published articles in educational journals, developed curriculum products, and conducted teacher training at the national level. She developed and taught graduate courses for the University of Virginia, George Mason University, and Kaplan University. Dr. King has been a public school teacher and also served as a gifted resource specialist, ESL specialist, and teacher mentor. She has also lived and studied abroad and is a Fulbright awardee.