Most students around the state are enjoying their summer break from school. However, for the parents of children who are about to start kindergarten, these are their last months to get their child ready for school. Children go to school to learn, but there are some things that kids should already know by the time they reach primary school. Here are five tips parents can use to help prepare kids for kindergarten.
Brush Up on Basic Math
To prevent your child from starting kindergarten at a disadvantage, they need to have a basic understanding of numbers. For example, children should know how to count to 100 and understand the idea of addition. You can help your child brush on basic math by incorporating it into daily life. Have them count the number of steps when you’re out walking, or use food to help them understand addition (e.g., if you have one cookie and I gave your two more, how many would you have?). Even if your child struggles with these concepts, they won’t be completely foreign when they come up in kindergarten. VPK programs, like Dream Big Preschool, focus on teaching these education fundamentals to young children.
Foster a Love of Literature Books
Reading is one of the most critical skills for young children to learn. Everything else they learn in school will be built on things they read, so it's easy to see why the skill is so essential. You can help your child excel in school by encouraging a love of books and reading. Reading books together can help them learn to love literature. And by reading age-appropriate books, there will be opportunities will present themselves to teach your child basic reading skills, such as how letters sound and how to read words they should know at sight.
Teach Responsibility and How to Follow Directions
For some children, going to school represents a significant shift from their home life. Teachers expect kids, even kindergartners, to take responsibility and to follow directions. You can prepare your child for this by transferring small duties over to your child. Assigning small tasks, such as putting away their toys or hanging up their coat. These simple tasks help them understand responsibility, which will help them during school. Similarly, kids need to accept direction from non-parental authority figures, such as the teacher and school administrators. This lesson can come in the form of a conversation, where you talk to the child about what you expect from them in terms of behavior while at school. One of the benefits of having kids in a VPK program like the Dream Big Preschool is that it helps kids adapt to school life before they start kindergarten.
Prepare Them For Their School Time Routine
For kids who aren't used to getting up and dressed at a designated time, heading to kindergarten can take some adjustment. The best way to prepare them for this change is to practice the school time routine before they start kindergarten. For example, making them wake up and get dressed at the time they would for school makes it easier when the first day of school arrives. Similarly, having an early breakfast together is a great way to transition to school.
Develop Independence and Self-Help Skills
School is a time of growing independence for children. When your child goes to school, they will need to be independent enough to handle specific tasks on their own, such as taking off their coat hanging it up, how to use the bathroom without assistance and wash their hands without constant reminders, and how to put on their shoes. Reinforce these skills and good habits whenever possible. Your child should also know how to wipe their face after lunch without prompting and blow their nose without assistance. However, make sure your child is comfortable asking an adult for help when necessary. Make sure they know that the teacher is there to help.
The best way to ensure your child is ready for kindergarten is to have them placed into a high-quality VPK program. Programs, like the ones at Dream Big Preschool, aren’t daycares. We help kids develop the knowledge and skill to help them succeed when they enter primary school. Send us a message online if you’re interested in enrolling your child into our school.