By Guest Blogger Amy Gant with Caldwell Academy
August is still six months away, but you may already be feeling some anxiety if your little one is heading to Kindergarten in the fall. Maybe you’re wondering: Will my child be prepared for Kindergarten academics? How will he/she react to a full day away from home? Is my child socially and emotionally ready to interact with other children on a daily basis?
The questions and decisions can be overwhelming, but we encourage you to take a deep breath and enjoy the next six months with your preschooler. There are many small ways that you can help prepare your child for Kindergarten without disrupting your normal routine. Implementing some of these ideas from our experienced Kindergarten teachers will give you both confidence as you head into this new and exciting season of life.
- Running, jumping, climbing, and bike riding are great practice as you play at the park.
- Practicing the proper use of scissors is a good rainy-day activity.
- Ask your child to sign artwork with his or her first name, with a capital letter at the beginning and the rest lowercase.
- Encourage your child to use a tripod grip when writing or coloring.
- Stringing beads, working puzzles, building with Legos, and playing with Play-Doh are great indoor activities that will help increase fine motor strength.
- Practice giving your child simple one-step directions as well as two-step directions that can be completed in order.
- Read with your child as you sit in waiting rooms or before bed each night.
- After you read a story ask your child: What happened at the beginning of the story? What happened in the middle? How did the story end?
- Work on letters and sounds as you read labels at the grocery store or while you cook dinner. “Can you bring me the can of tomatoes?” “What is the first letter in the word tomatoes?”
- Practice sorting and counting while tidying up blocks or straightening the DVD cabinet for the umpteenth time this month.
- Work on number recognition with price tags at the grocery store.
- Search for basic shapes in real-world settings as you wait in the car or walk to the park.
This may be the most important category we discuss and the one in which you can make the biggest difference. Practicing these skills may mean altering your schedule a bit because it is definitely faster and easier to simply button, tie, or prepare something for your child instead of encouraging independence. However, your child may avoid a lot of frustration and anxiety if he or she enters the Kindergarten classroom with these skills finely tuned.
- Work with your child on buckling a belt, zipping up a coat, and tying shoelaces.
- Encourage your child to help pack lunch or a backpack before preschool or a day out of the house.
- Allow your child to assist you in preparing snacks or lunches. We often don’t consider that our children will need to know how to open a Ziploc bag and put a straw in a juice box when they start Kindergarten.
- Being able to dress and undress themselves, to clean themselves after bathroom visits, and to properly wash their hands are important skills for Kindergarten students.
- Does your child transition well from one activity to another? Working on smooth transitions will go a long way in preparing a child for life in the classroom.
- The ability to sit for a period of time without a screen for stimulation is also a valuable skill that many children simply do not possess in our fast-paced world. Reading to a child and encouraging him or her to sit for a period of time to color, draw, or write quietly is great preparation for the classroom setting.
- Help your child practice waiting. Play a board game, take turns on the swings, and wait in line for the water fountain. Even serving your child last at mealtimes is a great way to teach patience
- Model cleaning up after meals and expect your child to clear their own plates and assist in tidying his or her own room.
As you prepare for Kindergarten and consider the many wonderful educational options available in the Triad area, we hope you’ll consider stopping by Caldwell Academy for a tour this spring. We are very excited to announce that we will offer a new Variable Tuition program for the 2016-2017 school year.
For more information about Variable Tuition, please consider one or all of the following options:
- Visit our website.
- Call Enrollment Director April Hedman at 336-235-4248.
- Join us for an Introduction to Variable Tuition meeting on February 24 at 9:30 a.m.
*Sponsored by Caldwell Academy