How to Help Your Child Get Ready for Kindergarten

Kindergarten is the foundation for all future learning and where the love of learning begins. When parents choose to enroll your child in a kindergarten, be sure your child is developmentally appropriate. Parents should not only just assess your child in an academic emphasis but also emotional and social readiness.
Is your child Getting Ready For Kindergarten?

Why care about kindergarten readiness?

Many parents worry about their child’s first day in kindergarten, because they are concerned that the child might feel scared or lost, or that learning to get along with a group of new children might be overwhelming. Starting kindergarten, for many children, is their introduction to a school environment, and we all want children have a great start.

Unfortunately, for many children, the transition to kindergarten does not always go smoothly. A recent study sponsored by the National Center for Educational Statistics, indicated that about 20% of kindergarten children lagged behind in the cognitive area of development and 31% lagged behind in the social and emotional area of development. What we also know from research is that children who have an unsuccessful experience in kindergarten are less likely to catch up and do better in later grades.

What is kindergarten readiness?

A child’s kindergarten readiness includes certain pre-academic skills such as being able to recognize letters, words, hold and show interest in a book, and count on one’s fingers. It is also very important to have certain social/emotional skills, such as being able to share and get along with other children in a group, to sit still for a period of time, and to focus on an adult that is speaking to them.
School readiness is related to characteristics of not just of children, but of families, schools and communities. Involved parents who read to their children from birth, schools that respect cultural and individual differences, and communities that support schools and families all play an essential part in school readiness.

How to help your child’s school readiness?

The first few years of life
Science research shows us that the first few years of life are crucial for a child’s brain development, and that the quality of development in those early years sets the stage for the child’s future. The nurturing that the child receives from parents and other significant caregivers and the learning he or she does in those early years shapes the child’s ability to learn, to be associated with others, and thus to be successful in school and in life. Actually, school readiness begins at birth.

Pick a right child-care and preschool for your child
It becomes clear that the quality of the care environments, such as regular child care, care from a nanny, relative or neighbor, plays a huge role in early learning. There is a wealth of research that shows that a high quality child care environment has a positive impact on cognitive skills and on social emotional development that lasts throughout the school years, and children’s life. Therefore, increasing the skills of child care providers, including family, friend and neighbors who care for children, are promoting school readiness.

Getting school ready is a collaboration of many community organizations, school districts, parents, teachers and child care providers. We should increase the number of children making a successful transition to kindergarten. For parents to find a safe, affordable, high quality child care for your child is very important to prepare your child for school. Pick a right day care, a right preschool for your young child consider the providers’ choices all day long as to how often to read to the children, how much to coach social skills, and how to infuse a child with a sense of pride and accomplishment that will forever aid him or her in future learning.

Help your child develop pre-reading skills
Pre-reading skills are the skills children need before they can learn to read. By talking and reading to your child, parents will help your child to develop these essential skills. It is recommended to parents to know these pre-reading skills, so that you can make the best use of your child’s natural inquisitiveness during the pre-school years.

Help your child develop fine motor skills
Young children naturally want to play; it is how they learn about the world. Help your child develop the small motor skills to handle writing. Access your child’s development on fine motor skills, for example, can your child copy simple shapes? Color pictures? Cut with scissors? Kindergarten teachers will expect him to handle most of these tasks easily. In the meantime, you can help your child develop his or her fine motor skills by giving him or her many opportunities to play games, such as finger paint, draw with a marker, use a pencil, pick up small objects with his fingers, build with small blocks, and do puzzles.

A checklist
Many parents are concerned about the emotional readiness of their children for kindergarten. It is as important a factor as your child’s physical, intellectual, and social readiness for starting school. Here is a checklist of some behaviors your child who is emotionally ready for school:

  • Does not cry easily, even cries, can recover soon
  • Does not require constant support from parents or caregivers
  • Separates from parents without being upset
  • Is not easily frustrated
  • Acts confident in new situations
  • Like to try new things
  • Has strong and positive sense of self
  • Makes decisions
  • Understands the idea of acceptable behavior
  • Begins to exercise self-control

Young children change very rapidly. The child who is emotionally immature today can easily be handling his or her emotions in just a few months. And remember to on children’s readiness to enter kindergarten on more than emotional readiness, parents also need to consider your child’s age as well as his or her physical, intellectual, and social development.

Young gifted children
If your child already has advanced reading or writing skills, and if a more advanced school is not an option for him or her, it is alright as long as parents continue to challenge your child at home and maintain a friendly working relationship with your child’s school. For parents’ reading, we recommend “Bringing Out the Best”. It has many helpful hints for parents of young gifted children.

Help your child getting ready for kindergarten. Help your child have a good start at school.

To learn more parenting skills, please refer to great parenting books.

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