Kindergarten readiness: A guide to helping your child get ready for kindergarten. Includes what skills are expected of kindergartners and what you can work on at home.
Kindergarten classes are made up of children from a variety of backgrounds. Some children will have been attended daycare since they were infants. Some will have been through preschool and pre-kindergarten, and some will have been at home or with Nana or Auntie. In other words, the
teacher will be prepared for a range of skill levels. There are steps that you can take to ensure your child's first steps into formal education are successful.
Step One - Dress for Success
1. Kindergartners do not have the developmental skills necessary to tie their own shoes, so whenever possible buy shoes with velcro fasteners.
2. Your child should be able to put on his or her own coat. Here is a simple trick used by preschool teachers - have the child lay the coat on the floor, with the neck facing him. The child then slides his hands into the sleeves (yes, the coat is upside down and backwards, for the
moment), and flips the coat over his head.
3. Snaps, buttons and zips can be hard for little fingers. Elastic waist pants are much easier to manage.
4. Much of kindergarten work is messy or active play - dress your child appropriately. Washable, comfortable clothing is best.
Step two - Easy as ABC
1. Your child does not need to know how to write all the letters of the alphabet before starting kindergarten. That is what she will learn in kindergarten.
2. Your child should be able to sing the alphabet song, and recognize some letters. Sing the alphabet song in the car, or the tub. When you are out running errands, look for letters together on street signs. ‘Read' the cereal box at breakfast - look for letters and numbers.
3. Your child should be able to recognize his own name. Write his name on index cards and tape them in various locations - on the door to his room, on his favorite chair, on his toy box. Talk about his name - what letter does it start with? How many letters are in it? What letter does it
Step three - 1-2-3 Go!
1. Your child should know how old she is.
2. Your child should be able to count to ten (most kindergartners can count to twenty)
3. Your child will learn to recognize and write the numerals one through twenty in kindergarten.
4. You can strengthen counting skills through simple games. Count the stairs as you go up or down. Count cars, road signs, traffic lights as you drive. Have your child help set the table or set out a snack. She can count cups, plates, and cutlery.
Your child's teacher will be ready for a range of skill levels in the classroom. You can, however, increase your comfort level, and your child's by working on skills at home before school begins. Just remember to dress for success, and with ABC, 123, you will both have a terrific year.