Posted by: ad65shorty | August 13, 2010

Skills for Entering Kindergarten

One of the most frequently asked questions I got as a preschool teacher was “What can I do to prepare my child for Kindergarten?” Parents were surprised to learn that, most of the time, they were already doing many of these things. This isn’t an all-inclusive list, by all means. Just things I’ve learned through the years.

1. Read, read, read. Reading aloud to your child develops so many language skills.

2. The most common misconception is that children need to know the whole alphabet, including sounds, before going into Kindergarten. While I do recommend that they have some concept of letters, they definitely do not need to know them all. I think it’s so good for children to have something to LEARN in school, rather than knowing it all and being bored. If you need a base to start, begin with the letters in your own child’s name. Children LOVE their names!

3. Help your child learn independence. They should be able to put on their own coat, shoes, backpack, and take care of personal bathroom needs. Remember that the teacher will have over 20 kids in their class! Also, they should be able to clean up after themselves, like put personal belongings away.

4. A big part of Kindergarten is social and emotional skills. Provide opportunities for your child to interact with other children–sharing, taking turns, talking and listening. Also, teach them how to deal with their emotions appropriately and with self-control.

I’m sure there’s more, and I will probably add to this short list as time passes, but I’m too tired tonite to think of any more. Let’s open this up for discussion: What skills do YOU feel are important for children to know going into Kindergarten?

(If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email! I’ll do my best to help!)

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Responses

  1. I have been surprised at how much cutting is involved in the k12 kindergarten program we are doing, I would definately make sure that your preschool age children get familar with cutting.

    • Thank you, Heather! Great advice.

      Here are some hints for practicing cutting:

      When cutting with preschoolers, be sure they are holding the scissors correctly: fingers on bottom, thumb on top.

      When following a line, make it FAT and THICK. It’s easier for them to follow. Begin with straight lines, then progress to big waves, then more curvy…

      And they don’t have to cut just paper: cardstock gives them a great feel for the scissors. Playdough is a favorite and strengthens fine motor skills. And snipping is great practice, as well.

      Thanx again, Heather!


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