What can parents do to get their child ready for Kindergarten?

14  Answers

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I would be thrilled if my students came to kindergarten already knowing their colors, how to count to at least 10 (and not just say the numbers, it's important that they have one-to-one correspondence, meaning that if they say "5" they're actually touching the 5th object rather than saying "1,2,3,4,5!" when there are only 3 things being counted.) I can tell the difference right away in a child who's been read to at home and one who's experiencing books for the first time. Make reading a part of your nightly routine (please make it age-appropriate! I once had a parent read "Twilight" aloud to their child every night because I didn't specify!) Books with repetitious text are great as are books with lots of rhyming words. Play word games in the car on the way to daycare or the store - "I'm thinking of a word that rhymes with cat."
Children also need to have some fine motor control - playing on monkey bars can help increase muscle control in the muscles needed for writing. Playing with clay, cutting and coloring are all great activities that can help too!

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I'm actually a 1st grade teacher but I think that some basic things that can help an upcoming kindergartener (that will help later in) include basic self help skills. By this I mean knowing how to tie shoes, bathroom care, and similar skills. Using play time with things such as Legos (or other building blocks) can help build fine motor skills. Read books together. Pointing to words as you read helps them learn to track as you read, differentiate words and letters and learn directionality (basic concepts of print).

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Parents can help their child get ready for Kindergarten by exposing them to books. Reading to them, allowing them to "read", and understanding print concepts will help them be successful. Also making sure students know their colors, ABCs, and numbers through 10 will also be extremely helpful. There are also inexpensive skill books that help with fine motor skills and dvds such as the LeapFrog series that really help get children ready!

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Every year my students enter kindergarten with varying degrees of readiness. There are many things parent can do to help get their child ready for Kindergarten. Probably the most important thing a parent can do is read to their child and talk with their child. Children who have been read to have a better understanding of story concepts, they develop a love for reading and are able to participate more when discussing stories in class. Of course there are those basic skills too. When the students enroll, we give the parents a list of of readiness skills we would like their child to have. These skills are
Recognize colors and shapes
Count to 10
know upper and lower case alphabet or at least have some letter ID awareness
Recognize numbers 0-10 Be able to write their name correctly (not using all capital letters)
Be able house scissors
Be able to sit and listen to a story

Children who come to kindergarten with these basic skills are confident and progress well.

And last but not least is probably every Kindergarten teachers dream... If they all could tie their shoes, but I know that is a dream. I just tied a fourth graders shoe yesterday,

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As a kindergarten teacher, I encourage parents to make sure they provide plenty of opportunities for their child to socialize and interact in groups of children. It can be quite a shock to a child becoming 1 of 20 or so, especially if they've never been a part of a large group before. Also, be sure to give them plenty of chances to practice and "play" with school tools (glue sticks, drip glue, markers, scissors, etc...). Not only will these be great skills to have, but it will allow them to focus more on the learning and work involved versus how to use or just exploring these items.

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Social skills is a big one with young children. Give them many opportunities to interact and engage with other children their own age. Make them socially ready for school and classrooms of 20+ children.

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First off, I think that all of these posts are excellent suggestions. On a personal note (and barely post first month of Kindergarten) I think the real question hear is:" How can we prepare Parents for Kindergarten? " This being my first go round meaning this is my fist child entering grade/grammar school, I was confident I had this... Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my son did Pre-K, Pre-K3, Pre-2, he started MMO at 18 months so this can't be much different, right? The night of Orientation, yes this was the night before school starts, they send us home with 2 or 3 different pacs of papers to read and it all needs to be returned the next day...not to mention the homework they sent home that night to for my child to do.... Talk about overwhelming..... I was reading about lunch money & costs, after school care money, Class Wish Lists, Supply Lists, Site words, street words, Phonics, Subutizing, some of these words were foreign to me.... Yes, they evaluated my son at the end of his Pre-K year to make sure he was ready for K and he scored average or above average on most all his subjects. But the subject now has shifted a focus on me? Could I score as well as he could?
Our fist week was a complete nightmare to say the least and most of it was my fault, it was like that assumed I knew the rules and that I knew to send lunch money in an envelope and inside the zipper pouch, and separate from ice cream money or I could pay it all online with his school #, I could go on and on. Then the homework started.. Subutizing, Sequence and Phonics, site words and street words, some of these were foreign words to me. How was I suppose to help my child every night practice this stuff?
Then that thing we received the last week of pre-k that we barely even read, something about Summer Reading... SOAR, Summer Opportunity for Academic Reading.Program, yea THAT ONE! no one stressed the importance of this and WHY? Who actually did this? I'd like to know. Aggravated Mom

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I believe that a mastery of self-care skills is beneficial for the beginning kindergartner: zips, snaps, buttons, (tying is a bonus!). If children have the ability to follow directions, attend to an activity for a sustained fifteen minutes, and write their names, academic success will follow.

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There are a lot of fun games that parents can make that won’t break the bank. These games can be a fun way to promote letter knowledge, phonological awareness and math skills all while having fun, your children won’t even know that you are getting them ready for school. But most important thing is you are giving them the joy of learning.

You can make a letter clipping game by writing letters around a piece of card board and give them cloths pins with letters written on them. Have your children match the letters on the cloths pins to the letters on the card board. Not only will they be leaning letters but they will be improving their fine motor skills at the same time.

Make number and letter game boards and have your children roll the dice and move their marker the right amount of times. Have them identify the letter, color, shape or number that they landed on. Having your children use dice is a great way to have them subatizing numbers. (being able to identify an amount by just looking at the objects or dots)

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Actually this is one of my hardest task-- because I'm having the hard time leaving my daughter in school. I have to be in her class also, which sometimes can be annoying to some kids and their parents. Now since she'll be on her preparatory , She's more adopt to the school environment. Basically, I encourage her to meet new friends, play and just be her self. At home, I read her books, teach her to write and color in a more fun way. I also give her rewards or privileges if she did well her assignment I prepared for her to do.

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make sure they can use the loo properly - i didnt and there were oops in pants EVERY day, plus they had diarrhea, you can imagine the stench of the class

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Early Planning For Exceptional Needs--
Starting early to prepare for kindergarten does not mean learning kindergarten skills in preschool, but rather, it involves making sure children have preschool skills such as being able to retell a simple story and being able to recognize the letters in their name when they enter kindergarten. If they have these skills they are more likely to be able to start the following year strong. The year before kindergarten is the time to learn important skills, such as tracing the shapes of letters and numbers on paper, following simple instructions, recognizing the title of a book, and matching rhyming sounds. All of these skills are important for future school success, because together they form a foundation of strong prereading and prewriting skills necessary for future work with letters and sounds in kindergarten.

Getting ready for kindergarten involves more than just learning the ABCs. Along with learning letters, sounds, numbers, and rhymes, new social experiences like taking turns and going to school for an entire day need to be considered as well.

The Preschool Special Education Team will have planned your child's transition to kindergarten and will facilitate what needs to be in place for a successful kindergarten school year with the Elementary Special Education Team.

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Kindergarten is a big step for children. In order to get them ready it is important to encourage their independence - at school they will be expected to do things for themselves. Work on developing their fine motor skills - school involves lots of writing, cutting, coloring and pasting. Ensure your child has basic knowledge of letters, numbers and sounds, can write his/her name and knows their address and telephone number. It is also wise to encourage an interest in reading. It would be ideal to spend time each day reading books. Nurture a child's curiosity about learning and the world around them. Children develop at different rates but when a child is eager to learn and not afraid to try somehting new - they tend to be more successful in school. Encourage children to explore by asking questions, taking trips to zoos and museums, reading different types of books from the library, engage in experiments and science play, etc. This is the time to awaken and celebrate their curiosity and desire to learn!

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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!

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Wow! As a parent of a 3yr old, I am shocked at how defensive many parents responses have been. No one has said that our kids need to know all of these things before entering kindergarten, this is simply a list of things that they should at least have some exposure to. The teachers are simply trying to give the parents the tools they need to help them. I very much enjoyed the examples given for fun games to play with your child. I did my student teaching in a 1st grade class, there were days I left and went home and cried because we had a few students who were so far behind that I knew the road that layed ahead of them. By Dec of 1st grade they still did not recognise all of their letters or know their letter sounds. How are these kids suppose to learn to read if they still don't know their letters??? Reading is a preresquite for all other learning, if they have to struggle to keep up reading it makes it harder for them to learn other subjects. When it becomes to difficult to catch up they give up. The part that was so upsetting was the parent/teacher conf when the teacher glossed over that the child was behind. I believe the teacher did not make a big deal of it because of how defensive some parents can be. I on the other hand would have stressed how important it is, explain why and give the parents some easy fun activites they could do to help their child. I approached these parents in Dec and asked if I could tutor the kids after school, which I did. These were great moms who loved their kids but didn't realize the gravity of the situation. We did fun games with letter recognition: hiding letters in the class and having the kids find the letter that made the a sound, macaroni letters, rhyming games etc. Once the parents had the tools and the knowledge these kids learning took off. I am surprised that no one mentioned that children learn the most in the first 5yrs of life. I am sure that many parents are not aware of this. We all know that children all learn at different paces and if your child has any kind of develemental issue that would factor into it. That doesn't mean that we don't expose our children to the items listed, you don't know what any child is capable of until you give them the opportunity to try and practice. Even if your child has some form of disability it does not mean they can't..... you don't know until you try. Obviously all kids are not going to be able to do everything on the list, if they can't big deal. Work around your childs strengths, encourage them to try, praise their efforts and have fun. Most kids this age love to learn, they are full of questions and what to know everything. I talk to my daughter all of the time. We sing or play games while we are driving, we talk about pictures we are drawing or stories we are reading, I tell her what numbers to push on the remote to watch Nick Jr, these are all teachable moments. Make the most of the time you have with your child and you both will be better for it. As parents we have certain expectations of our children: maybe it is to clean up their toys, sit down at the dinner table, not to hit others, whatever your expectations are you set them for your child and they know what is expected of them. All this article is saying is what things our children will be doing and if you want to set them up for sucess expose them to the things they will be doing.

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