Kindergarten is “Real School”
Kindergarten is fun, there is no doubt about it. But Kindergarten is no longer just an introduction to the world of school. It is real school.
Kindergarten now includes age-appropriate lessons that encompass reading, writing, arithmetic, science, social studies, foreign language, computer technology, music, physical education and art. Standardized tests and DRA’s (Developmental Reading Assessments) are the norm.
How to Get Your Child Ready For Kindergarten
Feeling a little pressure? Not to worry. Your child will be up to the task if you remember a few important points:
Keep learning fun. Children are children. They need playtime. They need to use their imaginations. They need to receive your praise and approval as they experience new things–even making mistakes. Help them enjoy the process.
Read, read, read. Read to them and with them. Mom and dad, truly you are busy. At the end of a long, overwhelming day, it is much easier to flip on the TV and chill. But don’t. Set aside a cuddle-time and homework-time with your Kindergartner. If there is no homework assignment, read together.
Be a great example. Children learn by what they see you doing. If you are an avid learner, inquisitive and insightful, they will pick up on it. Let them catch you reading, often.
Keep up on what’s going on at school. This is a big issue with the little ones. Kindergartners feel much more secure if their parents have them prepared. They aren’t going to remember on their own. They are five-year-olds!
Make sure that they have what they need before they go to school each day.
Know when there is a special event like Show ‘n Tell, a classroom party, book fair, Open House, or field trip. Being the only child in the classroom who didn’t bring in their dollar for the ice cream party can be a traumatic experience. Newsletters and calendars from the school will help you to keep on top of things, but it is your responsibility to remember it all and follow through.
What Should My Child Know?
Here are three categories of readiness that will give you an idea of what your child should know by Kindergarten.
Do not panic If there are areas that your child has not mastered. Children learn quickly. Take a little time each day to work on the area of greatest need. Be loving, kind and gently consistent. Again, it is important that your little one enjoy every bit of what he’s learning.
- Know their ABC’s…at least in uppercase.
- Count to 10.
- Recognize numbers to 5.
- Be familiar with cutting on a straight line.
- Write their first name.
- Know their colors and basic shapes.
Job Readiness (Yes, even Kindergarteners have jobs!)
- Have a job at home so they are already learning to be responsible for something.
- Learn to put things back where they got them from.
- Have a “listening attention span”. Read to them so that they are building their ability to concentrate and listen.
- Be able to follow 2 and 3 step directions such as “Go to the bathroom and then wash your hands.”
- Be able to put on their coat, jacket, tie their shoes, etc.
- Be able to go potty without aid and then put their clothes back on afterward-belts, snaps, hooks …
- Know how to use their lunch box items: open containers, thermos, etc.
With all of that said, enjoy being the parent of a Kindergartner. It is a wonderful time in your lives. This child will only be in Kindergarten once. Make it a special time for the whole family!
“You can be sure that your child is ready for Kindergarten.”
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