Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ready for Kindergarten???

As a teacher, have you ever been asked, "What does my child need to know before going to Kindergarten?"  Or, as a parent, have you ever asked that question? 

I have been asked that question DOZENS of times over the past few years!! Parents are starting to realize that kindergarten is not all playtime and nap-time anymore... a child's kindergarten year truly is the foundation to a successful elementary schooling!! In kindergarten, we teach many basic skills---everything from counting to matching to sounding out sounds and even reading! We also teach many basic social skills necessary for students as they start their school journey.  We teach sharing, waiting, communication skills and even friendship skills.  Whether it is educational or social skills, kindergarten is where students learn skills that used to be taught in upper grades.

Every year in the spring, my school hosts an 'open house' for incoming kindergartners.  This is a great time to answer many parent's questions and we address any fears or concerns they may have.  We get them registered to enter kindergarten and we give parents a simple checklist to make sure their child is ready for kindergarten in the fall.  Some of the questions included on the checklist are:

1. Can your child sit attentively for at least 10 minutes?
2. Can your child take care of their own toileting needs?
3. Can your child ask for help?
4. Can your child focus for 10 minutes or more?
5. Can your child listen quietly during the time a book is being read to them?

We use these questions, and others, as a guide for parents to gauge if their child is ready to be a kindergartner. While some parents may not be able to fully answer "yes" to all of our questions, if they can mostly answer yes, then we think they are ready for kindergarten.   

I also make sure that parents know that there are TONS of resources out there to help prepare children for school! We list out websites that have helpful resources and games to get kids in the "school mode" before starting school.  We encourage parents to keep practicing school appropriate skills with their pre-schooler at home such as listening quietly when a book is being read, not interrupting when someone is speaking and following direction when told something by an adult.  

Here are a few websites we love:

Students will love the bright colors, cute graphics and fun games provided on these websites!  I also make sure that parents know about Teachers Pay Teachers and Educents!  Both are great sites that provide parents and homeschoolers a great variety of games and activities that are free or very inexpensive!! 

In fact, Educents is now offering a WONDERFUL collection of goodies, which I am pleased to be a part of!! This bundle is made especially for pre-schoolers and homeschoolers!  It covers all of the basic skills and it is sure to have any preschooler ready for kindergarten!
For a limited time, it is $29.99 which is over 70% off from it's original value if all the items were bought individually!!  Take a look below to see all of the specific items that are included!!

Be sure to let me know what you think of the bundle!! 

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