Have you ever wondered if your child will be ready for kindergarten when the time comes? Yes, kindergarten readiness is a thing. Will your child know how to do all that is expected? Are they independent enough to keep up with the rest of the class? I have a few tips to help you make sure you are preparing your child to be ready for kindergarten.
Creating an independent child is a huge help when it comes to sending your child off to kindergarten. To help make this happen, be sure you are allowing your child to help around your home. Have them pick up their own toys, clean up behind themselves after eating, put their own shoes on, and zip and button their own clothing. These are things they will do daily at school and the teacher simply does not have time to do this for every child.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Can my child go to the restroom without help?
- Is my child able to use a pencil (tracing shapes, tracing lines, holding a pencil correctly)?
- Can my child clean up their own mess?
- Is my child able to sit for 5-10 minutes and listen to a story without interrupting?
Around the house, watch as your child tries some of these tasks without your help. If they are able to do all of these completely independent of you, you are on the right track. These are short and easy ideas that can be done a few times each day without thinking too much about it.
Academically ready for Kindergarten
As a kindergarten teacher, I treat every student as if they have never been to school and everything they know has to come from me. However, kindergarten is sometimes looked at as the new first grade. They have to learn all their letters, sounds, numbers, addition, subtraction, comparing, how to write, how to read and so much more in kindergarten. It can overwhelm some students that are not yet ready to learn.
Every night, you can help by reading to your child. As you read, ask questions about the story. Who are the characters (who is in the story)? What is the setting (where are they)? What is the problem? How did they fix the problem? As a result, your child will be used to listening to a story, answering questions related to a story, and being able to find the character and setting in a story.
For reading, these are some skills you can teach:
- Matching rhyming words
- Recognizing rhymes
- Retelling a simple story
- Letters in their name
- How to recognize their written name
For math, these are a few ideas that can be practiced around your house:
- Counting to ten
- Recognizing numerals 0 to 10
- Counting objects and telling the last number counted
- Recognizing basic shapes
There are some ideas that are not necessarily math or reading-focused. Knowing colors, how to hold a pencil, how to hold scissors, being able to open and close objects, practicing putting a backpack on and taking it off, and being able to put on a jacket are just a few things that if mastered, will help your child be ready for kindergarten.
Socially ready for Kindergarten
The social and emotional needs of our students have been a huge trending topic for a while. To help ease the anxieties and worries of heading to kindergarten, there are a few ways to help. Take your child to the library for read-aloud times to help them feel comfortable in a group with unknown people. Give your child simple instructions to follow to practice what it will be like at school. Teach your child their real name and age. Teach them how to ask for help when they are unsure about a situation or when they do not know how to fully do something.
Is your child ready for Kindergarten?
Realistically, having your child ready with all of these skills will help. The most important thing that teachers will want every child to come in with is a huge smile, open heart, willingness to participate and just being ready to learn. A kindergarten teacher’s job is to help your child learn and grow. Bring them ready to learn and we can take it from there. Knowing a little bit of everything that I explained is a big bonus for us! Commit to having your child socially and emotionally ready and the teacher will handle the academics. Starting with some simple activities at home will help. These matching mats are great for getting ready for kindergarten.