Many parents ask what they should be doing to prepare their child for school. First, it is important to note that it is the responsibility of parents to prepare their child for school even if the child is attending preschool classes. Determining whether your child is ready for kindergarten can be a challenging task, as you have to evaluate a series of qualities first. A checklist can help you check your child’s readiness and direct you to issues they may need help with. Don’t worry if your child does not fully meet the checklists requirements though, as teachers can help overcome many drawbacks.
One consistent piece of advice Kindergarten teachers give to parents is the importance of introducing little ones to a school setting, when possible, to acclimate them to the social and formal setting of a classroom. Try and visit the school your child will attend so they can become familiar with the layout and get an idea of what ‘school’ looks like.
Below is a checklist to help your child be prepared for kindergarten. Again, do not be concerned if your child does not have them all down before their first day. They will continue to work on them throughout their kindergarten year. Good luck!
1. Motor Skills: Children in kindergarten should be able to hold a pair of scissors and cut paper, and hold a crayon or a marker to draw lines on paper. It is very helpful if they are able to write their name. They should be also able to walk properly, run, jump, climb stairs and handle a ball.
2. Academic Skills: Kindergarteners should be able to recognize different colors, even if they cannot name them yet, match items by shape and count four to ten objects. They should be able to identify a few letters of the alphabet, particularly the letters in their name. They should also be able to speak in complete sentences, express simple thoughts and ideas and be able to comprehend directions.
3. Social Skills: Kindergarteners should be able to express their anger or fear at classmates or teachers with words rather than physical violence. They should be able to obey rules during a lesson and during games with other children. They should also be able to wait their turn during tasks or games and ask questions to teachers when they are confused.
4. Personal Skills: Kindergarteners should be able to function without their parents’ direct supervision and help. Such skills include their ability to button and unbutton their clothes, manage their bathroom needs and care for their personal hygiene without needing an adult to remind them (clean mud off their hands, wipe their nose for example). They should also know and recognize their full name.
Image Credit: Good Beginnings Alliance