Kindergarten is a major milestone in the lives of children and their parents. There is a magic date in every school system that says your child will be allowed to enter kindergarten if they are five by that date. Being prepared for kindergarten takes more than a magic date or a fifth birthday. Make the transition from preschool or home to the kindergarten program easier by helping your child get ready.
Make school real for your child. Do more than talk to your child about kindergarten. Play school. Allow your child to be both the teacher and the student. Share the fun activities that they will do. Be excited about the prospect of going to school and expose your child to the excitement.
Visit the school on kindergarten round-up day. This will allow your child to connect your words with the actual room and teacher. He will get an idea of what to expect as he performs certain tasks like large and small motor skill activities, plays with puzzles, listens to stories, interacts with other children, and becomes involved with all of the activities the school district has planned.
Teach your child how to act in social settings with other children her age. Plan play dates. Visit the local park. Attend services at your local church or synagogue. Consider putting your child in daycare one or two days a week if she has not attended daycare or preschool. Eliminate separation anxieties by providing your five-year old with experiences that will build her confidence in the fact that you will return.
Buy your child art supplies, including crayons, finger paints, paper, scissors, coloring books, and construction paper. Encourage your child to use the supplies to help him develop small motor skills that he will need in the classroom.
Play games with your child. Running games, catch, and games that involve throwing will help prepare her for the large motor activities she will need in kindergarten.
Read to your child. Require him to sit beside you while you read. Teach him how to sit quietly, listening to you. Discuss the pictures and the story with your child. Kindergarten requires listening skills, the ability to sit quietly, and the need to understand what he hears. Reading to him will help prepare him for all three skills.
Get to know your child’s teacher and principal. Familiarize yourself with the school’s policies and programs. The more comfortable you are with the school, the more comfortable your child will be too.