As your toddler grows, you’ve probably often wondered what skills and abilities he or she will need when it’s time to enroll in kindergarten. Whether you choose Montessori Riverside or a high scope approach for your child’s early education, here are several skills and abilities your child should learn in preschool so he or she is ready for kindergarten.
Social and Emotional Development
By the time children reach kindergarten, they should have the skills to get along with others, to follow rules and to see tasks through to completion. They should also be able to communicate their needs and wants. Parents can assist in this critical development by ensuring that their children learn to work with other children through play. This means sharing toys and collaborating with other children. Children who have attended preschool typically have this skill, but even if you choose not to send your child to preschool, you can enroll your child in other programs designed to foster collaboration and group play. For example, a micro-soccer or tee ball league allows children the opportunity to play with others and to work together as a team. Children can also gain some of these skills when they attend group activities like birthday parties or visiting playgrounds, swimming pools and libraries.
A major goal of kindergarten will be learning to read, write, and create. All three require fine motor skills. Gripping a pencil or crayon demands enhanced fine motor skills. Your child is probably doing things to improve these critical skills now. Things like playing with sand or water will help with coordination, and any small house jobs, like sorting mail or tying shoes or sorting silverware can also build these skills. Your child probably also owns toys specifically designed with fine motor skills in mind. Large crayons and art workbooks and large tool set toys increase a child’s nimbleness and coordination.
Hopefully, by the time a child reaches kindergarten, he or she is able to communicate his or her needs and wants. Parents who regularly read and talk to their children naturally enhance a child’s language skills. Assist your child in speaking clearly. If you or an older sibling is constantly translating what your child is saying to others, it’s time to work on enhancing your child’s diction and pronunciation. The kindergarten-ready child generally has a basic understanding of words that rhyme and is learning to identify the letters in his or her own name. Reading together each day and asking your child to tell you stories will put your child on the fast track to literacy. Visit the library or book stores often and read signs, menus and even billboards to your child.
By the time your child reaches kindergarten, he or she should be able to count to 10 and have a very basic understanding of how many objects there are. You child should also have a basic understanding of shapes. For example, a kindergarten-ready child can typically pick a triangle or a circle out of a line-up of shapes. You can assist your child in developing these skills by having your child learn to sort objects by color, shape, and size. You can also start working to teach your child to compare objects. For example, regularly ask if one object is bigger or smaller or shorter or taller than another. Learning to understand comparative words will assist you in developing your child’s cognitive and math skills.
In a National Center for Education Statistics study, public school kindergarten teachers were asked to identify the three most critical qualities they felt were most essential for kindergarten-ready students. They listed physical health – a well-rested and well-nourished student is one who is ready to learn; the ability to communicate needs, wants and thoughts verbally; and enthusiasm and curiosity in approaching new activities.
There are a variety of preschool teaching methods and schools, like Montessori in Riverside, which can assist your child in preparing for kindergarten.
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