Why is Odyssey a great kindergarten choice?

Why would I choose Odyssey when my public elementary school is right down the street?

An Odyssey education is fundamentally different than public school. Thanks to high-stakes testing, elementary school, from Kindergarten on up, has become a largely seat-work driven experience. But hands-on academics, recess, outdoor time, and imaginative play are crucial components of high-quality Kindergarten. This is what’s currently missing from the average public school classroom.

At Odyssey, we preserve the joy in reading and math.
Our Kindergarten class has manipulatives to use for math, in keeping with how children naturally develop number sense. We also have a dedicated hands-on math program. Our Elementary Classrooms are a print rich environment where reading and literacy takes place across the curriculum with a blend of whole language and phonological awareness activities. Our shelves are stocked with books related to the classroom theme. Our reading buddy program pairs older and younger elementary students to provide peer role models who love books and reading.

Our students get recess, outdoor time, and freedom of movement.
Recess allows children to interact with each other, and improves physical fitness. Many schools have very short recess periods so that more time can be spent in the classroom. In fact, recess enhances time spent in the classroom by enhancing attention and creating calm. At Odyssey, Kindergarteners have at least a half hour of dedicated recess time outdoors in our natural playspace – more for full day Kindergarteners and older elementary students. Twice a month our students head to the woods at Breakheart for a more in-depth outdoor experience with a Naturalist.
Even in the classroom, we are more tolerant of the normal movement of children. In an Odyssey Kindergarten classroom some children will stand at tables instead of sitting, and you may even see a wiggle or two. The focus is on the work at hand not on the position of the workers.

At Odyssey, there is still a dramatic play area in the Kindergarten classroom.
The disappearance of imaginative play is one of the largest differences between an academic Kindergarten classroom and a developmentally appropriate Kindergarten classroom. In an Odyssey classroom you will see a dramatic play area which changes in accordance with the classroom theme. At this age, imaginative play is critical for intellectual, emotional and social development. It is through this play that children begin to develop the creativity and collaboration which are key 21st century skills.

We recommend that when you evaluate Kindergartens, you ask these questions yourself:
• How much time is spent at a desk?
• How much time is spent outside?
• Are there opportunities to develop social skills through recess and imaginative play?

Once you understand how important these answers are to your child’s development, you’ll understand the Odyssey difference.

Learn more about our Elementary program HERE.

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