How to Make Sure Your Child is Prepared for Kindergarten School?
Are My Kids School-Ready?
It’s normal to feel a bit anxious about sending your child off to a kindergarten school. As a parent, you want to be absolutely certain your little one is fully prepared to adapt to a classroom environment, make new friends and be able to clearly communicate their needs to their teacher whenever they need help. But when it comes to specific skills and knowledge, many parents are surprised by how much their child is expected to know before kindergarten.
Research shows that children who are well-prepared for their first year of school have a much better chance of settling in and succeeding, giving them a significant head start for later years. Here are the ten most common things they should know to help them feel confident and ready for their biggest adventure yet.
Checklist for Parents Before Sending Kids to Kindergarten School
Listen to and follow simple instructions
By the time they start kindergarten school, most children should be able to listen to and follow two to three part instructions, this develops their personality. They should know their own needs but a parent can make them more aware of their needs.
Following simple instructions such as “sit down”, “wash your hands” can go a long way for the child to adjust in the new environment easily.
Communicate their needs
Children should be able to clearly communicate their needs, especially to their teacher. Parents should tell their children to communicate well with teachers and share their questions with the teacher as well.
If they are unable to understand any instructions they should be taught how to ask the teacher to explain it to them again in a polite tone. Words like “please” “thank you” should be used often in conversations with children so that they also start using these words in their communication.
Dress and feed themselves
Children should feel comfortable managing their own clothes (e.g. zippers and buttons). They should also know how to open a juice container and unwrap their own food. It’s also at this age that children learn how to tie their shoes, though some won’t get the hang of it until around age six.
Basic hygiene such as washing hands before and after eating and also after using the washroom, drying it with a hand towel or tissue paper, etc. are skills that need to be taught to kids before sending them to a kindergarten school.
Share toys with others and take turns
A big part of starting kindergarten school is about getting along well with others, completing a task or project through teamwork and treating others with respect. Parents should teach their children to be a good classmate and friend and help everyone who wants their help and share toys with them too.
Understand and retell simple stories
In their first year of school, children should be able to listen to and understand five to ten minute stories. Most will be able to retell simple stories that they have heard, and some may even begin telling original stories.
Match and sort objects
Children should be able to match and sort objects by simple attributes, such as shape, color, and function (e.g. food, clothes, things you can cook with). This also helps in developing cognitive skills and eye-hand coordination of children.
Identify basic patterns, shapes and colors
For this you can provide your child with puzzles and toys having multiple colours and shapes. These foundational skills will help your child develop essential mathematical skills and knowledge.
Identify some numbers and understand how numbers are used
By their first year of kindergarten school, many children will know how to count to at least 20. They will be able to tell what number comes before or after a given number to 20. You can help your child learn counting numbers using vegetables, crayons and everyday objects.
Identify letters and its sound
Most children who start kindergarten school will know some letters in the alphabet, and begin to understand the correlation between sounds and letters. Children will be able to spell and write the letters in their name once they have gained full understanding of the alphabets and developed fine motor skills.
Begin to identify some sight words
Learning to identify and read sight words is crucial for young children to become fluent readers. Most children will be able to master a few sight words at the age of four (e.g. is, it, my, me, no, see, and we) and around 20 sight words by the end of their first year of school.
Sending your child start school will probably be one of your proudest parenting moments so far. It may also be the most nerve-racking and daunting prospect for both. You need to help your child prepare for school. This is a big stepping stone in their life which they need to be prepared for before you start downloading admission forms!
Try to give encouragement and show appreciation of your child’s achievements. Be it great or small, it can help boost their confidence. Be realistic and avoid putting your child under pressure by having over-high expectations. Let your child develop at their own pace, but if you do have concerns, please speak to their teacher.