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There’s No Time Like the Present! Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten

One of the proudest, and possibly scariest, times for a parent is sending their little one to school on the first day of Kindergarten. Questions circle their mind asking, “Are they ready?” “Are they prepared?”

To quell the apprehension within yourself and to facilitate a successful and easy transition for your child, there are a number of things you can do at home in advance to prepare your little one for Kindergarten.

Encourage independence and self-help care

As a Kindergartener, your child will often receive multi-part directions that require them to complete several tasks. Help your child develop the skills to take care of themselves and manage their own things. This will help them master the ability to handle multiple tasks at school. Encourage your child to dress themselves. For example, putting on and zipping their coat and tying shoes by themselves. Also, train your child to use the bathroom unassisted, wash hands without prompting, blow their nose with a tissue, and to work and play independently. Even allowing them to make small snacks by themselves will teach children to take ownership of fulfilling some of their basic needs. 

Teach them responsibility 

At home, start shifting small responsibilities, that you usually handle, over to your child. Tasks may include setting the table and clearing their place after a meal, watering the house plants, sorting their laundry, carrying in and putting away groceries, making their bed, and putting away toys.

Promote positive social skills

Make sure your child knows the importance of cooperating with adults, other than you. One way to do this is to enroll your child in a preschool program, or other activities, such as a children’s gym class or a religious education class. These experiences will teach them to transition from one activity to another, get along with peers, practice using good manners, take turns, and to sit still and pay attention for short periods of time.

Engage your child in meaningful learning activities 

Read with your child every day. Incorporate a variety of books, perhaps using your local library as a resource. Help them to learn the alphabetic letters and their sounds and numbers in meaningful ways. For example, having them identify letters or numbers, on boxes or packages in the grocery store and other places in the environment.  Support your little one in continuing to develop their fine motor skills by using scissors, playing with clay, and drawing with pencils, crayons, and markers. Help them to be able to identify and write their name.

Start now!

Don’t wait until a month before school starts to begin readying your child for Kindergarten. There truly is no time like the present, so don’t hesitate to begin reinforcing the skills your child will need to be successful. The sooner you begin the Kindergarten preparation process, the better for your child.

 

Instead of focusing on whether your child is ready to read and write, consider their abilities as a whole. Start ahead of time building their self-esteem, participating in activities, and practicing skills that will promote a smooth transition into Kindergarten. 

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