It can be quite daunting to understand what your child needs to know in order to be prepared for kindergarten. With the increasing levels of difficulty through all grades in our education system, ensuring your child is ready can be very challenging! Along with academic skills, children need to have a strong grasp of certain social and emotional concepts as well. Websites Scholastic and It’s Always Autumn provide beneficial checklists to help parents and caregivers make sense of what concepts and skills need to be learned before a child enters kindergarten.
Children must know how to hold pencils and handle books. They should be able to use scissors appropriately. Writing their first name with proper letter formation and in correct letter order is another skill children should master before kindergarten. In addition, ensuring your child can recite certain important information, such as their name and phone number, is important. Children should also accurately identify most of the letters of the alphabet and recognize rhyming words. Read books together that have rhyming words as well as a rhythm to the text. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, Good Night, Good Night Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker, and Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas are all fantastic examples of books that can help introduce children to the concept of rhyme. In terms of mathematics, counting to twenty is a goal as is recognizing numbers 1 through 10.
Parents and caregivers should also remember to promote social and emotional development within their children. Children need to practice sharing and taking turns as well as sitting quietly while listening to a story. Following simple directions is also an important skill that children must have in order to be successful in school. It would also be helpful to prepare your child for such potential social interactions as lunch time in the cafeteria. Show them how to open containers and encourage them to ask for help if needed. Remind them that they only have a certain amount of time to eat.
Ultimately, it is essential to remember that all children learn in different ways and at different times. These lists are certainly not “one size fits all.” If your child hasn’t mastered everything on the lists, that’s okay. Kindergarten teachers will help you help them. Whatever the skill you are trying to teach your child, make the learning fun and engaging. Parents and caregivers are a child’s first teacher. You set the tone for their future attitudes towards learning.