Kindergarten is an exciting time of exploration and growth. As your child’s motor coordination increases, so too will his or her sense of independence, self-reliance, and self-confidence. As the year progresses, kindergarteners will be expected to complete assignments with less outside help, accept more responsibilities, and follow rules more closely. Help support your child’s mental and educational growth at home with some kindergarten readiness suggestions.
Skills Often Expected at the Beginning of Kindergarten
Take a look at this list: Is there is anything you need to practice with your child before those first days of school? Keep in mind that this list simply includes guidelines and not all is expected to be mastered before entering Kindergarten, but is very helpful.
- Identify some letters of the alphabet.
- Grip a pencil, crayon, or marker correctly (with the thumb and forefinger supporting the tip)
- Write first name using upper-and lowercase letters, if possible
- Count to ten
- Bounce a ball
- Classify objects according to their size, shape, and quantity
- Speak using complete sentences
- Recognize some common sight words, like “stop”
- Identify rhyming words
- Use scissors, glue, paint, and other art materials with relative ease
- Repeat full name, address, phone number, and birthday
- Play independently or focus on one activity with a friend for up to 10 minutes
- Manage bathroom needs
- Get dressed
- Follow directions
- Clean up after self
- Listen to a story without interrupting
- Separate from parents easily
Don’t panic if your child hasn’t nailed everything on the list: Kids learn a lot in kindergarten. What’s more important is to wean children from relying on you to do things they could do themselves, such as zipping a jacket or tying shoes. Give your child the chance to show you what she can do — you might be in for a few surprises!
On top of making sure your little one enters the classroom with those principal skills, you’ll want to emotionally prepare him for what can be a big transition. Ease those first-day-of kindergarten jitters with these fun reads
- “Curious George Goes to School” by M. Rey & H.A. Rey
- “First Day Jitters” by J. Danneberg
- “I am absolutely too small for school” by L. Child
- “I love school!” by P. Sturges & S. Halpern
- “Leo the Late Bloomer” by R. Kraus
- “Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten” by J. Slate
- “Mr. George Baker” by A. Hest & J.J. Muth
- “The Kissing Hand” by A. Penn
- “Will I Have a Friend?” by M. Cohen
With a little bit of advance preparation, the transition to kindergarten can be a very positive one for parents and children. Enjoy this next stage in your child’s life and in your life as a parent.