Kindergarten readiness: Is your child ready to go to school? Almost all the parents around the world would agree on one thing that their cute babies were so small this moment and the next moment they are ready to go to school. Most parents feel time passes so quickly with babies around that they hardly recognize their prince or princess growing.
Pre-schooling and kindergarten are the first two milestones in your child’s life. They would be learning new things, meeting so many kids of their age, playing with them, having fun and would also be away from their parents (at least for half a day). This is a major change in their lifestyle.
These days, we hear a lot about kindergarten readiness. And what is it? Most people say kindergarten readiness is how far or how well the child is ready to go to school. Most people think that it is dependent on the age of the child. Mostly, schools have a cut off age of about 5 years for kindergarten. More recently, teachers, pediatricians and those who constantly work with pre-schoolers and kindergarteners say that age is not the only criteria for admitting in kindergarten. In fact, they say that the level of intelligence of the child, his or her physical development, emotional, behavioral, social and communications development must be considered apart from age. Here, we must understand that all children do not develop in the same manner and also at the same pace. There would definitely be a difference in how each child perceives kindergarten. Some kids might easily adapt to the change while others struggle to fit in.
To ease out the transition from home to school, parents can help the child by teaching him or her certain skills that are essential in school. These simple skills make it easier for your child to cope with the pressure of school.
Some of these skills and training include
- Teach alphabet and numbers: Though, this is part of kindergarten curriculum, yet teachers expect children to at least recite the letters of the alphabet and numbers between 50-100. Knowing alphabet and numbers from pre-school will help your kid advance in school.
- Rhymes and stories: Reading rhymes and stories would be very good for your child from an early age. In fact, right after infancy, you can begin this. Reading rhymes and short stories to your child can improve language skill and enhances the imaginative power of your child.
- Teach your child to hold pencil: While in preschool, your child may be given a pencil or a crayon, just to see how it is being used. Your child might use left or right hand to hold the pencil and scribble. This skill is important because, being able to hold a pencil can be translated into advancement in education. Apart from this, you can also teach your child how to use other simple tools. This training will improve their hand to eye coordination and motor skills.
- Regulate your child’s lifestyle: The success of your child in school will depend on how well they are able to utilize their time. This starts at home by orienting their lifestyle towards school timing. Even before your child’s schooling begins, inculcate in your child the habit of waking up early in the morning, getting ready and having breakfast. Yes, breakfast is important. Don’t let your child skip breakfast. Also make sure that he or she has early dinner and goes to bed very early. Remember the old song, ‘go to bed early, wake up with joy!’
- Getting ready for school: Getting ready for school is perhaps a daunting task for parents, especially in the initial days. But, as the days progress, you can teach your kid how to get ready for school. Teach him or her, the basics of wearing the uniform. This can save your time during the morning rush. And most importantly your kid will learn to do things on his own.
- Potty training: Don’t ignore this. This is an important training that you can give to your child. Train your kid how to use the toilet without the help of an adult. Start the training at home in a step by step manner. This training will not only be useful in school, but it will also inculcate hygienic habit.
- Making friends: Going to school has one of the biggest advantages and that is making friends. Some friends acquainted at kindergarten go on to become best friends for life time. You can assess yourself about how well your child can make friends. When you take him or her to a park or when the kids in the neighborhood are playing, you can actually observe how your kid is making friends.
Apart from these skills and training, visit your child’s pre-school teacher and your pediatrician who can assess your child’s readiness for school or refer a child psychologist who can show areas of improvement for your child.