Beginning school is one of the most important transitions in a life of a child. There are feelings of excitement and apprehension. For some, this is their fist time away from their parents. It is also a time in which they will be responsible for learning brand new things. It is incredibly important for parents to ease the anxious feelings and enhance the positive feelings about going to school. It is our job as parents to try to foster physical, emotional and mental kindergarten readiness.
Physical kindergarten readiness is one aspect that not many parents consider. Fine motor skills are extremely valuable. Children ought to be able to hold and manipulate a pencil, marker, or crayon. They should have experiences drawing, coloring and scribbling on paper to get used to holding a writing utensil. They should also have a familiarity with cutting with child-safe scissors, and doing puzzles. Allow time for your child to participate in any of these activities, which are not only fun, but will also increase their familiarity and control with writing utensils. Kindergarten readiness also includes gross motor skills such as running, climbing and jumping. These skills can be incorporated into games that also teach following directions. Simon Says is a great game with physical activity that will also teach the importance of listening to directions and vocabulary such as on, above, over, under, etc. Although all skills are improved upon during the school year, it is a good idea to have your children beginning to practice these skills before school starts.
Emotional kindergarten readiness includes knowledge of how to act in social situations. Hopefully they use manners such as please and thank you. It is also very beneficial for you to show children how to use their words when they are frustrated or angry. Children should know about fairness and that they are supposed to follow rules and take turns. One of the many books that is great for teaching children how to act toward each other is The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.
Language arts [http://www.childsresource.com/languagearts.php], math, science and social studies are the subjects that make up most of the curriculum for the year. Kindergarten readiness involves having previous exposure to all of these areas so that the teacher can further develop this information into actual knowledge. Before starting school students would hopefully find enjoyment in reading or listening to books and nursery rhymes. They should also be able to retell (or sing) short stories or rhymes. Reading educational books to your child everyday is great preparation for kindergarten too. One great book is There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback. It is a funny, classic story that most all children enjoy, and it will expose your child to rhyming. Other great books include Mother Goose collections and any book from the Dr. Seuss series.
To prepare for math, count items in everyday life (how many crackers they have or how many blocks they can stack). There are hundreds of books that help teach counting as well. Use colors and words such as more, less, heavy, light, big, and small to describe everyday objects. These will aid in the ability to classify things into groups. Preparing for kindergarten science [http://www.childsresource.com/science.php] consists of developing a familiarity with plants, animals, weather and seasons and some characteristics of each. A simple 土瓜灣幼稚園邊間好 introduction is all that is necessary. For example, plants grow from the ground, animals move around, the weather outside is cold and windy. This can be done through books and conversations in day-to-day life. Kindergarten readiness regarding Social Studies has to do with the community and neighborhood where you live. Explain that rules are not negative things, but instead they help everyone to get along.
We need to understand that kindergarten may come to be overwhelming for the child who is having difficulty with the skills presented this year. Simply having exposure to these areas is enough to make the children more comfortable at school, and therefore more receptive to learn. It is beneficial for parents to be aware of what their children are going to learn in school so that they can introduce lessons to help lessen the stress of learning brand new things. Parents are the first and best teachers children have. If we are able to instill physical, emotional and mental kindergarten readiness in our children, we can facilitate their academic growth and hopefully instill a love of learning.