Tuesday, December 14

Get Prepared For Kindergarten

While summer is fully upon us, for those children who will be starting Kindergarten in the fall, it’s time to start preparing. Some basic skills you need to start working on with your Pre-K child.

For those of us with older children already in school many of us are sincerely looking forward to the summer break. For those of us with pre-k children it’s time to start working on some of the basic skills kindergarteners are expected to know when they start school. While summer is supposed to be a time of more relaxation it’s a very good idea to keep the pre-k child working on these basic skills.

Most kindergarteners are expected to be able to function in a group setting. For children who have not been exposed to group settings very often entering a room full of other children can be scary. With summer approaching it’s a good time to make sure that your child gets some time with other children. Learning to share and get along with others will be a needed skill for kindergarten. Participating in-group activities such as church groups, playgroups or nursery school groups is an excellent way to get some of this exposure. Look for groups that you as parents can get involved in. Moms Help Moms is a good example of this. Many of the groups of MHM meet on a monthly basis and allow children to come along, thus giving them group exposure with other children.

It’s also a good time to make sure that your child’s cognitive and language skills are up to the expectations as well. Most five year olds can express themselves with a large variety of vocabulary. They can understand many more words in conversations than they can readily express as well. One of the best ways to build vocabulary and language skills, is to read to your children. They pick up on meanings of words and begin to recognize letters from books. A book is more powerful for building this skill than any TV program. A great idea might be to make a set time for some reading each day. I found that a nice short story before bed is a great way to help little ones settle down for the night and they learn without even knowing it.

Kindergarteners are expected to be able to hold and use a pencil, crayons and markers. They also like for kindergarteners to know how to use scissors and be able to draw some basic straight and squiggle lines. If you encourage your child to do some basic art with any of these it will help prepare them for the school year in the fall.

Now is also the time to start working on those shapes, colors and perhaps some basic letters. You don’t need any grand educational toys for this; just use the crayons and a piece of paper. They are not expected to know every color in a box of 64 crayons, just the basics. Colors like black, white, red, blue, green, yellow, orange, brown and maybe even purple and pink. They are also not expecting every geometric shape known to man either. Again, just the basics like circles, squares, triangles, rectangles and maybe a diamond. Use the crayons to draw one shape one color and so on.

For letters you can use their name to teach them different letters. Do you sing the alphabet song? No? Well it’s a good time to start. Driving down the road start up a sing a long of the alphabet song. Even if they don’t master the song but only pick up a few letters here and there that’s better than none at all.

The best way to know for sure what your child is expected to know when they start kindergarten is to call the school they will be attending and ask them if they have a reference sheet. This is a sheet that will list the different skills they would like each new kindergartner to know. I remember on one of our lists they asked that the kids know how to tie their own shoes. We worked on it all summer and by the time school started my daughter was ready.

Please don’t feel that you need to set a rigid schedule to work on these skills but just be aware of them and slip them in whenever you can. Watch their progress and be prepared to talk with their teacher if you have a concern at the beginning of the year. Remember that summer is a time for enjoyment and working on these skills can be fun.

Guest Author - Cheryl Lewis. petikan dari www.bellaonline.com

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