It’s time for kindergarten, and the skills your child learned in preschool at Suncoast Academy have prepared them to flourish as they mark off this next milestone. As a parent, you may wonder exactly what your child will need to know to be successful as they make this next important transition. And this is why we’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist of skills that will be helpful for children entering kindergarten this year. If your child hasn’t mastered them all just yet, don’t panic. All kids learn at their own pace, and while some might find it more difficult to grasp new concepts right away, they may well be the first in their class to truly master that same skill once everything clicks. Ideally, if your child has a handle on the concepts listed below, you’re on the right track:
1. Give Them Opportunities to Socialize
The ability to play well with others, to engage in cooperative play and to communicate with peers when needed are essential skills that everyone must master to be successful in life. Even children who are shy or children who are boisterous will eventually need to find a happy medium where they’re comfortable and where others are comfortable with them. Most children who’ve attended preschool have had some opportunity to practice socializing, but if kindergarten will be your child’s first experience inside a classroom, you can use the summer to practice by taking them to parks, indoor play areas or other supervised playgrounds where they’ll have the opportunity to interact with others their own age.
2. Help Them Learn to Take Instruction
Most kindergarten teachers want children to be able to take and to give instruction when necessary. This means understanding that there’s a time to sit and a time to stand. A time to play and a time to learn. Practice at home with your preschooler by asking them to perform simple chores such as putting water in the pet dish or helping to set the table, and use positive reinforcement and lots of praise when efforts are successful.
3. Practice Basic Motor Skills
Your child will spend much time in kindergarten cutting, gluing, drawing and tracing. Take some time each week to help kids learn how to properly hold safety scissors, use a glue stick, and follow a line using a crayon. Basic motor skills develop best with practice.
4. Play Word Games
Play games with your early learner to help him or her learn at least a portion of the alphabet. Recognizing letters on sight and knowing what sounds they make will give kids a jump start on reading and writing.
5. Count Everything
Count with your children every chance you get. Count the number of steps to your front door and the number of mailboxes between your home and school. Count the cups on the table and the toes on each foot. Counting is math, and today, math is everywhere.
Work on the items in this post, and when it’s time to leave your child with his or her first kindergarten teacher, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that they’re off to a strong and successful start.