IS YOUR CHILD READY FOR KINDERGARTEN?
WHAT TO DO BEFORE THE SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS:
Most schools hold a special ‘Kindergarten Day’ when they invite the new young students and their parents to come in and visit for a few hours. This is held so that your child will not be starting school in unfamiliar surroundings. You will be observing your child and the teachers while the teachers, in turn, will be observing all the children in order to plan their class groupings. Do you get a good feeling when you picture your child there – in that school and in that class? If so, then you know he is in the right place to learn not only the academics but how to socialize with others.
Even before this, you should still familiarize your child with the school he will be attending. Take a few
walks together and look at the children entering the school or playing in the schoolyard. Make positive comments about what you see. Hopefully, your child will also have a positive outlook.
Kindergarten is where your child will begin his first learning if he has not been in daycare. It is a major adjustment time for a young child who has been used to being at home where time spent doing activities is not scheduled or structured. Teachers know this and keep instruction time short with many activities planned throughout the day when your child will have to follow directions and instructions. You can expect your child to come home tired at the end of a school day so it’s best not to plan any activities during school nights unless absolutely necessary.
THINGS YOUR CHILD SHOULD KNOW BEFORE STARTING KINDERGARTEN:
- Mommy or Daddy will come back to pick up their child. Children who have been in daycare programs know this but if this is your child’s first school experience, he/she may start to cry when Mommy or Daddy say goodbye. If this is the case, do not linger but say goodbye firmly and leave quickly. The teachers have seen this situation many times before and know that the best procedure is to just carry on as though nothing is wrong while trying to draw your child into the group’s activity.
- When to go to the bathroom. To avoid an ‘accident’, teach your child not to wait too long. Make sure he/she knows how to use toilet paper properly and how to pull underwear back up.
- How to eat on his own. This includes opening his food container, wiping hands and mouth.
- How to wash hands properly. Your child should know how to use soap, paper towels or a dryer. It is not enough just to run hands under the water.
- How to sneeze into the crook of the arm and how to blow his/her nose properly into a paper tissue and how to dispose of it. This is especially important when cold season starts.
- How to wait for his/her turn.
- How to put on his/her own shoes and socks. Many times, children are required to change into indoor, outdoor or gym shoes. Buy the kind with Velcro closings unless he/she knows how to tie a shoelace well.
- How to put on hat, mitts or gloves, snowsuit pants, jacket and scarf. Buy the ones that are easiest for him/her to handle. The teacher is always on hand to help but it makes things a lot easier for your child if he can do this him/herself and the bonus is that it provides a sense of accomplishment.
- How to use scissors, crayons and pencils. If your child is left-handed, provide a pair of left-handed scissors if there are none in the class.
- How to listen to a short story without interrupting.
- How to hold a book and turn the pages correctly.
- Tell, in his/her own words about the picture he/she has drawn.
- How to count to ten or twenty or beyond and be able to recognize some letters or words.