As you toured preschools, did you find yourself wondering if and how they would prepare your child for starting school?
Now that the day has arrived, or draws near, you may wonder if your child has mastered the requisite skills or how Kindergarten will challenge your child. Or you may ask what being ready really means. So we've complied some helpful information to help you feel confident that your child is ready to start this new journey.
What will your child do in their first formal year of education?
And what can you do to help them meet the challenges that await?
Randolph Lower School teacher Laura Bernick notes that “When students start school, they embark on a journey with new friends and teachers. From day one they are learning and growing – from each other as well as from teachers. Countless skills are covered and introduced each day."
As your babies grow up, you're feeling understandably less and less in control of your children’s environment and activities. But that’s okay! You have control over so many things that make a big difference in their lives.
Some important things to put on your to-do list before your child starts Kindergarten:
• Set a regular bedtime and wake-up time for your child at least two weeks prior to the first day of school. Sleep is so important to your child's growth and brain development.
• Set up a play date with a friend from school. The educational skills students learn in their early elementary years and their cognitive growth are deeply connected to their social and emotional growth. Unstructured playtime alone and with friends is as important as learning to recognize letters and numbers.
• Plan a visit to your child's school the week before school begins. Walk the halls and become familiar with the surroundings. New routines are difficult for children in the beginning, but should offer security once established.
In addition to these activities, here are some things to make sure your child can do, all important skills for a successful start in school and independence:
• Tie his or her shoes,
• Put on and zip a jacket,
• Unbutton and button pants,
• Open lunch items like drinks and chips.
Through their time at preschool or nursery school, and with their interactions with you, your child will be developing basic reading–readiness and number skills. You've no doubt been reading to your child and will continue to prepare them for more academic skills that they will need for the classroom.
Some basic skills your child will need to be ready for Kindergarten are to:
· Recognize uppercase and lowercase letters
· Count from 1 to 20
· Hold a pencil and write first name
· Use scissors
· Self-control: Share, wait for a turn, stand in a line, listen to a story
As you look forward to this next stage in your child's life, share your positive attitude about school and your child’s experience. This will foster independence and confidence. Starting school is the beginning of a great adventure! Supporting the school and teachers and demonstrating that conspicuous confidence in front of your child is a great gift to give them as they head into the world!
Learn more about how to prepare your rising Kindergartner. Check out our latest eBook to see what challenge looks like for your entering Kindergartner.