Ziji Early Elementary is a Monday through Thursday program for kindergarten, first and second grade children. School hours are 8:30-3:30.

At Ziji we are inspired to create a meaningful and embodied entry into the world of academics for our students.

We believe there is an organic transition from play to study available to each child. How a child plays becomes how they think. When play and academics are brought into balance, a child's inner unfolding is not sidetracked nor who they are discounted. Children integrate their experiences through play, thus making the content of the lessons their own.

If formal instruction is introduced too early, too intensely and too abstractly, the children may indeed learn the instructed knowledge and skills, but they may do so at the expense of the disposition to use them.
— Lillian Katz

We believe, for the young student, the deepest learning is not always what is 'taught' to you but what you discover for yourself. Each day we set the stage for this discovery with a rich array of activities that work at the edge of each student's understanding. The second deepest learning occurs between friends, and is so beautiful to witness – one child, so attentive, searches his friend's face for clues. The other child, so patient, struggles to understand what her friend doesn't get and tries to articulate the idea in a different way. When children learn from each other there is such rich learning for all.

Each stage of development deserves to come to its full fruition. A great deal is at risk when academics are pushed on young children in ways that deny the sphere of play that nurtures our children until the age of eight or nine. Children are ready to learn but if the transition is too abrupt, a child can become alienated from their own learning. 

The kindergarten/first/second grade child plays in an ever more complex an organizing manner – this is the seat of their joy.