[note] Thanks to KBound for their help with this article. As a local resource, we’ve asked them to share with our readers some of the important tips in getting children ready for kindergarten. [/note]
by guest contributors, Marsha Dugan and Jodie Kellam from KBound
Kindergarten has more expectations than ever before. Demands to meet state curriculum standards for our youngest learners are forcing teachers to make every minute count! Preparing children to be conﬁdent learners before they even set a shoe in the kindergarten door is key.
Here are some tips to help the parent or caregiver in working with their child in preparation for kindergarten:
Knowing what comes next gives a child security and cuts down on guessing about what’s coming. Post the family’s daily routine using pictures and words.
Talk positively about school. Visit your child’s new school together. Read books about going to kindergarten. (Check out the book list at KBound.com)
Oral Language/Social/Emotional Skills
Expressing one’s self, turn-taking, asking for help, developing vocabulary, and problem-solving are skills that can only be aquired through practice. Ask questions that allow your child to think beyond simple yes/no answers.
Listening and Following Directions
Students spend most of their school days listening and responding to adults. Check that your child is understanding conversation, requests, and directions. Play “Simon Says” and “Telephone”.
Teach your child to tie, zip, wash, dress him/herself, blow his/her nose. A child joins up to 29 others in kindergarten. Knowing how to take care of personal needs promotes independence and allows their attention to be on other things.
Play And Work Independently
Provide opportunities for sharing, taking turns, problem-solving, being with peers in a variety of settings. Help to model appropriate behavior. Completing a task is an important school expectation.
Fine Motor Skills
Building hand and ﬁnger muscles is a prerequisite to success. Invite children to knead playdough, pick up/string different size beads, spray a water bottle outside, and hold a pencil/crayon.
Basic Reading and Math
Counting spoons needed for dinner, talking about the shapes and letters on street signs, sorting socks, and rhyming family names are all ways to connect skills to the real life of a child.
Remember to focus on what a child CAN do, encouraging effort when possible!
KBound was created in 2012, by Marsha Dugan and Jodie Kellam, with a vision to bridge the gap between preschool and Kindergarten. Their combined 50 years of kindergarten and pre-K teaching experience, along with their current position as preschool mentors and trainers, makes them an ideal resource for any early childhood educational program. For more information, visit KBound.com.