According to Deuteronomy 6 and Psalm 78, parents have the task of raising their children in the fear of the Lord. Since it is a parental responsibility, parents have to make that decision in fulfillment of their vows before the Lord.
Without the option of a kindergarten at William of Orange Christian School, many parents used the public kindergarten system to educate their children. With the decisions recently of the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the use of same-sex material in the Surrey School District, parents have felt uncomfortable and even convicted that kindergarten in the public school is no longer an option.
A young student’s first exposure to school ought to be a positive Christian experience within a Christian setting. The nature of the kindergarten program is based primarily on learning values and social concepts rather than academic knowledge and skills. For that reason it is crucial that our students be taught values of love, patience, respect, justice, compassion, humility, thankfulness, holiness, and forgiveness. The same values that are treasured by the parents at home need a resounding echo in the kindergarten class. A Christian kindergarten provides a safe environment where a child’s first exposure to school can be positive and clear echo of the norms and values found within the child’s home.
The fact that we are a Christian school with roots in the Reformed tradition, our motivating factor for establishing our own kindergarten should be coming from our baptismal vows.
There are a number of pedagogical reasons for kindergarten. First, there is a strong advantage to having our children attend the same kindergarten instead of coming from a number of different kindergartens, where there is such a discrepancy and range in teachers. This allows the school and the teachers to have better control over the whole pedagogical process. Secondly, the discipline at a Christian school is different than that at a public kindergarten, which, coupled with learning the psalms, listening to Bible stories, the need for and dependence upon prayer evidenced in the life of the teacher, the school and the community clearly shows a connection between the home and the school – school is an extension of the home. At the same time, respect, honour and love is practiced and maintained because of our association with our Lord, who loves, honours and respects us. All these things are incorporated into what we call the ‘discipline’ of the school. Thirdly, learning problems are discovered at an early age and initial plans can be made for subsequent years.