Before my oldest child started kindergarten a good friend of mine gave us some great tips and some much needed 5-year-old school training. As an educator, she had seen the struggle of little ones who were age appropriate for kindergarten but had not been taught the needed skills to begin school.
This is her list of things she wanted to make sure he could manage before he started school:
1. Tie your shoes. So many children who are headed to kindergarten have not learned to tie their shoes. Teachers spend much time each day helping students keep their shoes on. You can practice this over the summer!
2. Put on your jacket. It is hard to imagine that helping a child put on his or her coat is a big deal, but when a class is headed to recess and you have 20 five- and six-year-olds who need to bundle up, it takes time.
3. Unbutton and button your pants. Did this one make you laugh? But ask any kindergarten teacher about this pesky task and they will tell you most children will have at least one accident during their kindergarten year. How many of these happen because a child has a bathroom emergency and can’t get that button undone?
4. Open lunch items like drinks and chips. Again, if there is only one teacher to help all of the students at lunch and if everyone needs help, you won't all have enough time to eat! If you can open all your containers you can get started eating sooner. Spend lunch eating and enjoying time with your friends, not fighting with a juice box.
I am sure this list seems like common sense, but making sure you are prepared to handle some of the basic everyday things will give you the best chance for success. If your parents are like me, they may be a little nervous about you heading off to BIG school, but you can reassure them that you've got this!
Learn more about how to prepare your rising Kindergartner. Check out our latest eBook to see what challenge looks like for your entering Kindergartner.