Most times when Christmas break approaches parents of preschoolers and Pre-k children began to wonder if their child will be ready for Kindergarten, in the fall. It is not premature to think about the readiness of your child, and how much more time is needed to prepare them for SCHOOL. It is a nightmare that every parent faces, unless you are that parent that has a child who adapts in any and every situation. Kudos to you and your nice life. To everyone else I know that anxiety.
I have a large family so I did not think about how ready my child was until the end of their pre-k year of school. I procrastinated over the summer and three weeks before school started I got serious. I wish I had paid attention and prepared long before then.
The mother part of me, thought I had dropped the bomb, but the teacher part of me knew it was not rocket science, just some patience and organization.
Now, kindergarten readiness does not just mean academically ready, because there are many children who never set foot in a structured learning environment until kindergarten or even 1st grade.
I being an early childhood educator, whom dedicates most of her life to preparing youngsters for that scary structured environment have 5 ways that has proven to help prepare your child for Kindergarten.
5 Ways to Prepare Your Child For Kindergarten
- If your child is use to being at home away from other children, their age, now is the time to encourage some form of group activities. Have your child join one of those park district group activity classes or have group playdates with friends and neighbors. This helps your child learn how to interact and cooperate with other children their age. Trust me this tip goes a long way.
- Start to structure some of your child’s day. Their morning routine, for example. Upon waking have them brush their teeth, get dressed, and have breakfast. Something as simple as having a routine not only prepares your child for structure, but also for transitions. In Kindergarten students have the luxury of having music, gym, art, library, recess, and lunch if full day. That is a lot of transitions and getting from place to place means standing in line quietly and moving with a group. I teach my students this from the moment they enter my Pre-k classroom. Kindergarten teachers love getting my students.
- Start reading to your child in settings other then bedtime. Have a quick story time in the middle of the day and have your child sit across from you. This helps prepare your child to sit in group or circle time for a period of time, remembering to listen and be present. Ask questions after the story, choose a book longer than the previous one, and introduce music numbers and finger plays from time to time. Circle time continues to be a big part of your child’s learning environment.
- Academically, your child should know how to write words or form letters, especially their name. Have your child practice forming letters and writing their name, first and last. Writing numbers are just as important. Recognizing their letters and numbers are important also, but at the beginning of the school year, kindergarten teachers review letter and number recognition.
- Finally practice giving your child some type of responsibilities. Independence is another big kindergarten thing. Something as simple as your child putting on their own coat, putting books or toys away when they are finished playing with them, or clearing their place at breakfast or dinner time helps them to accept that they will have responsibilities in school as well.
I hope these tips are useful. There are other great tips to help prepare your child, but I thought these were some of the most important ones.
If you have tips that have helped prepare your child for kindergarten, please share in the comments section.