Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

It’s springtime, when a lot of parents are coming to that realization that kindergarten is coming… and it’s time to get kids registered, or decide on what at-home learning program to use. Often the next question is ‘Is my child ready?’ Here are 10 tips to help your child be socially, emotionally, and academically ready by fall!

1. Learn to share and get along with peers.

This is the most important skill for kids to have before they start school anywhere. Regardless of whether they are learning at school, or in a co-op, or a private group, getting along is a lifelong ability that every child needs. Allowing playdates, signing up for sport or group classes, attending community events, or hanging out with extended family all build children’s social skills.

2. Make sure they know their first and last name.

This one may seem obvious, but making sure they know their first and last names is important for being out in public, and especially if you are going to a public, private or other school setting where there is a teacher. We had one student one year who went by a nickname his whole life, so on the first day of school, there was a lot of confusion.

3. Let them practice using the tools.

Working in the schools, the first day is always a bit of a lottery. What will the kids know? Where will the holes be? One thing that seems to be a growing trend is students not knowing how to use their school supplies when they come to school. Do they know how to color with a crayon or marker? Can they cut with scissors and use glue? It’s ok to be judicious on when to allow your child to use these tools, lest you get colored walls or a spontaneous new haircut, but ensuring your child has been able to practice using these tools will help them be better prepared to complete their school work.

4. Help them learn to dress independently.

Buttons, zippers, shoelaces… our clothes come with a lot of learning curves. Helping your child master the skills to be able to get ready to go outside and go to the bathroom independently are important before kindergarten. (Tying shoes is hard, if they are still struggling with tying their shoes, velcro shoes are a great option to give your child independence at school, and saves time if you’re choosing a home learning option until they are more confident!)

5.  Practice counting.

Counting is a huge part of math in kindergarten. In the public schools, kindergarten students will be learning to count to 100 by the end of the year as part of their learning objectives. Knowing how to count to 10 or 20 gives students a good foundation to build on when they start school.

6. Recognize shapes and colors.

These are primary skills that will be essential going into school. Many teachers use shapes and colors to organize and label their rooms.

7. Develop a love of books and learning.

Kids are so naturally curious. They are constantly observing and experimenting on their own. Reading and exploring with your child before they go into kindergarten fosters a love for learning and books, and can build excitement as they begin learning to read!

8. Teach them to recognize and start to write their name.

This skill helps kids start to recognize letters, and that they have meaning. This also helps them to start writing letters, and following a specified line pattern instead of just scribbling.

9. Begin letter and sound recognition.

As kids start to recognize that letters have meaning, and are something that can be read, they can start matching the names, and the sounds to the letters. The more letters they recognize, or sounds they associate with the letters, the easier reading will come in school.

10. Help them get excited!

No matter what type of schooling you choose, help your child feel excited. This is a major milestone in their little lives!

For more ideas of how to get ready for kindergarten, check out our Kindergarten Readiness board on Pinterest!

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