As parents, we often wonder if our children are learning the concepts necessary for a successful start to the Kindergarten year. Children entering Kindergarten come from a wide variety of homeschool, preschool, and preK backgrounds. There are, however, things that parents can and should introduce to their children before Kindergarten. Below are 15 concepts that most educators assume children have been exposed to or can do:
That a child:
1) has been read to and knows about books and printed words; is aware of the Alphabet and is beginning to recognize letters and/or the sounds they make
2) has had opportunities to use paper and crayons, markers, and/or pencils
3) has been given times for pure play and the opportunities to explore and try new things independently of an adult
4) can complete bathroom tasks independently
5) can dress him/herself independently
6) can control body movements and be able to sit quietly for a period of time
7) has had experience working with puzzles, shapes, colors, paints, collage materials, scissors, glue sticks, and other activities that are creative and help develop small muscles necessary for writing
8) is comfortable in an environment without a parent present and with other children he/she may not know yet
9) has listened to music and had opportunities to dance, run, jump, and express themselves
10) has had opportunities to get first-hand experiences to do things in the world and use all 5 senses: touch, hearing, sight, taste, and smell.
11) has had opportunities to talk and share with others and to listen when others are talking or sharing
12) has had opportunities to ask questions and learn through curiosity about the world around them
13) can follow simple directions and complete a simple task that is given; can complete a family chore independently
14) can count to 10 and recognize that there are patterns in our world
15) has learned words to express basic emotions: sad, happy, mad, tired, etc.
Parents are children’s first teachers. Those early years will form the foundations for a love of learning that will last a lifetime!