By Heather Burdo
You’ve been with your little one for the past five years. It’s a bittersweet moment to know you’re about to send them off to Kindergarten, a brand-new venture. To make yourself feel a bit more at ease, ensuring your little tyke is prepared can make a world of difference.
Your child should be able to write their name. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be legible. Think of the confidence boost your little one will have when they are asked to write their name, and they won’t even need any help.
Sight Words and Reading
Although sight words don’t have to be mastered, your child should know some words. You can practice by playing sight word games and sounding out letters and forming small words. A great way to give your child a head start on small words is to explore books. While you read, point to each word as you go along and let your child be the one to turn the pages so he or she can learn to turn the pages from left to right.
Help your child prepare for Kindergarten by making sure they have a basic understanding of numbers. When you do different things, start counting with them - you could count when you walk up stairs, put away toys, or even every bite they take.
Exploration of Language
Talking to your child is, of course, going to expose them to language and skills of communication; however, it’s now time to step things up. Talk to your child about different things such as your schedule, your thoughts, and whats going on throughout the day. Expose your child to new ideas that will give him or her some use of new vocabulary. To challenge your child, have them complete a task and verbally walk you through it.
It’s easy to assume preparing for Kindergarten means knowing how to count, read small words, and write your name - but there’s more - citizenship is something teachers wish more students knew such as being aware of the community. Additionally, children should understand how they are an important part of a larger group. A creative way to have your child grasp this is to give them easy jobs around your house that contribute to the household and family while explaining why what they are doing is important. For example, this could be as easy as picking up their dishes from the table, putting away toys, and making their bed.
Everyone Appreciates When a Kid Follows Directions
Moms, teachers, anyone loves when a child follows directions. Kindergarteners are still young and adapting, but they should be able to follow two-step directions. For example, make sure your child is prepared to listen to the teacher when they ask to either sit at their desk or take off their shoes. In school, children are expected to complete tasks on their own and can handle their emotions - within reason of course - so it’s critical to ensure you practice this at home.
Fine Motor Skills
While a tablet is great to help a child learn, it should not replace a pencil/crayon and paper. Teachers can usually agree that children spend too much time in front of a screen and learn all their numbers and letters from a tablet. Encourage your child to use crayons and pencils to write and draw on paper. Nothing can replace fine motor skills.
Sending your child off into the world by themselves becomes a lot less scary when you know they are prepared. Do all you can at home to make sure your little Kindergartner is ready, and he or she will thrive.
Heather is a freelance writer from New York. When she isn't writing about parenting, she is tending to her own two handsome boys. She enjoys all things related to motivation and mindset. All work aside, she enjoys activities outdoors and being with her family.
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