A preschool parent asked me what they can do to help prepare their student for Kindergarten even though it is a couple years away. I was taken aback by this question but I found a great resource. This was written by Cari Suzuki the director of admissions at Montesorri Community School and I really could not have said it better. It is not enough to just send them to school anymore.
Here are some ways that you can help prepare your child and enhance his or her learning. preparation:
- Encourage and support your child’s emerging independence by giving them real chores around the house. By giving them practical activities, children will learn to contribute to the household and family. Chores can also help develop fine motor skills, focus and concentration.
- Model honesty and respectful behavior. Your child will follow your example in how you treat others. Promote positive social interactions at home, including team work and compromise, so that your child can work cooperatively and collaboratively in school.
- Be consistent. A regular routine helps kids to know what to expect and builds their confidence. Family trips are meaningful experiences but traveling too often during the school year can interrupt progress made in the classroom.
- Limit screen time and encourage imaginative, creative and critical thinking. Through hands-on learning and exploration, your child can develop a deeper understanding of basic concepts and will have a broader foundation for abstract thoughts.
- Read with your child. Not only does a daily story time strengthen bonds with your child, it also prepares them for reading on their own.
- Provide options for challenging work. Reassure your child in their abilities and encourage them when they are ready to try something new! Recognize effort more than mastery. Don’t put too much pressure on them. Every child is different and progresses at his or her own pace. Every school has a different philosophy and learning expectations, along with different kindergarten requirements and application deadlines. Research the different programs and take a school tour to get a sense of the classroom and school community so you can decide on the best fit for your child.