Parents often wonder if their child is ready academically, emotionally and is socially mature enough for the big changes ahead of them. Kindergarten is the biggest leap your child will make academically for the next couple of years. Knowing a few steps to guide your child onto the path of a successful Kindergarten year can help ease the stress you may be feeling.
Start early, practice often: a good motto to live by, especially when it translates to parenting.There are many kindergarten readiness tips for parents online to help prepare, but it’s more than just reading a few tips and trying to apply them: it is about being ready.
Giving your child a head start in the academic arena doesn’t have to be a scene from military school. Skip the flash cards and strict learning rules, but make learning fun by fostering their curiosity for the world around them. Explore outdoors by incorporating colors, or counting trees and rocks to create a ‘lesson’ for them. Print a few fun worksheets, but don’t get overwhelmed. Learning at this age should be fun and low-key. If you stress, they will stress!
Kindergarten isn’t just about learning the ABC’s and 123’s, but it’s also gaining social maturity throughout the year. Join playgroups or other social activities that require your child to engage with their peers. Easing into social situations where they interact and having small amounts of conflict resolution will help them adjust to dealing with peers when they leave your side. It’s important to foster their social life now while you can monitor and mediate group activities.
Take away the fear. They’ve heard of kindergarten, but have yet to see it in action. Preparing for the unknown can alleviate the mystery of school. Talk about all the new experiences they’ll face at school including their teacher, lunch, where the bathroom is and friends they’ll meet. Most of all, if you’re excited, they will be too!
Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child’s social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.