04 Apr Ready to Learn: Getting My Child Ready for Kindergarten
The end of the school year is around the corner, and for many kids the promise of summer is all they can think about. For teachers and parents however, there is much to be done before the end of the school year. If your child is enrolling in kindergarten this fall, here are some tips to prepare them for their new role as full-time student.
Enrollment: Checklists for Mom and Dad
Let’s start simple; although some children enroll on the younger side, and others enroll on the mature end of the spectrum, here are a few things that need to be completed prior to enrollment:
- My child is 5 years old, as of September 1
- My child is up to date on vaccinations
- My child has completed any required medical screenings (eyes, hearing and speech)
My Child is Going to Kindergarten: Now What?
Change can be hard for many kids (and for parents!). Here are a few ways to instill excitement in your child and help with the transition.
- Visit the school prior to the first day. Many schools provide a meet and greet for students, families and teachers.
- Talk about it. Anxiety is born when children don’t know what to expect. Talk to your child about all the fun they will have in school. New friends, fun teachers, circle time and library hour are all enjoyable parts of school your child gets to look forward to!
- Take your child school supply shopping. There is nothing like a new princess backpack or Superman lunchbox to get your child excited for school! Let your child pick out a few personalized items to aid in building up the excitement and help them feel confidant.
What is kindergarten readiness? Kindergarten readiness is the what pre-school teachers, guardians and parents evaluate prior to sending their child to kindergarten. The main areas teachers and educators evaluate are independence skills, social skills, executive functioning and recognition of colors, numbers and letters.
If you don’t feel like your child has mastered these skills, don’t fret! Children learn quickly! Spend your summer investing in your child; set aside 30 min per day reviewing their ABCs, numbers, colors and shapes. If your child lacks social skills- get them involved in play groups, summer camps etc. Summer is a great time to socialize and learn!
Fun and Simple Ways to Promote Kindergarten Readiness at Home
Give your child a leg up by working on the following this summer:
- Counting 1-10- use visuals to aid in number recognition
- Writing their name- start with their first name
- Recite the ABCs- sing the song, and point to the letters to aid in recognition
- Have play dates! Take time to invest in your child’s social skills. Focus on sharing, nice hands, nice words, waiting their turn.
- I can do it!- If not already doing so, have your child practice dressing themselves, focus on outdoor clothing (shoes, hat, gloves, jacket).
If you are worried your child has deficits or is not quite ready, seek out an educator, other parents or your pediatrician. These people are here to help you and are a great resource to give you the reassurance you need. Remember, kindergarten is a place to learn! No one expects your child to be perfect or have mastered all skills prior to beginning school. Now- enjoy your summer!
Julia earned her Masters of Social Work from Asbury University in Kentucky. While in graduate school, Julia specialized in child and family services. Prior to pursuing her masters, Julia earned her Bachelors in Human Services/Pre-Counseling.
Julia has a background in child and adolescent therapy. The majority of her clinical work is with parents, children, and teens. Julia has been working with children and families since 2012 in transitional living, foster care, schools, private practice and community mental health. Julia has extensive experience working with Academic Achievement, Attention Deficit/ Hyper Activity, Anger Management/ Mood Dysregulation, Anxiety, Grief and Abuse/Trauma.