How to Get Your Child Ready for Kindergarten
Often children are ready to start school well before they are five years old. Preschool and daycare arrangements provide ample opportunity to prepare for school even when a child is still quite small. Here are a few reminders if your child is getting ready to start school for the first time. Every school district and/or state may have different requirements so be sure to check with your local school district to find out more.
Preparing for School
Step 1: Meets mandatory age requirements.
Your state will have a specific cut-off date where your child is either too young or is mandated to be enrolled in a learning program. This can vary based on your location and the length of the school year. Many states allow 4-year olds to enroll as long as they turn 5 by December 31. Other states have earlier dates such as September 30. Check with your local school district to find out. The learning program can vary from a state run public school to a home-schooled program. Registration typically occurs in the Spring (March or April) for a Fall start date (August or September).
Step 2: Has proper immunizations.
States and localities have different immunizations requirements. Most require Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP), Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR), and Polio, but some also require Hepatitis B, Varicella, or Hepatitis C depending on where you live. Check with the state or county Center for Disease Control to find out the schedule and expectations for your location.
Step 3: Learn basics such as ABC’s, counting, and tying shoes.
This may seem like common sense, but children need to be taught the letters not just to sing the song. This can help them ease in the transition from home to school or even from daycare where an unstructured environment is replaced with a more strict and ridged school day.
Counting and understanding the concept of numbers is also a good attribute to have prior to starting Kindergarten. Practice with your child whenever you have a chance.
Tying shoes is a basic step-by-step direction that can help your child understand how to follow directions. If you work with your child each time you have a chance then by the time they are 5 or 6 they will be able to tie their own shoes.
Step 4: Learns how to put on her own clothes.
Make sure your child can put on his or her own clothes to include zipping pants and coats, buttoning shirts, or snapping snaps. If you are busy getting ready for work then this can help to alleviate some of your responsibility for getting ready in the mornings.
Step 5: Knows address and telephone numbers.
You child should be able to talk to adults and communicate how to reach you. Have your child learn a good telephone number such as your cell phone number in the event someone needs to contact you about your child. This may be your child’s first experience of being away from you without being at a babysitters or with relatives.
Knowing basic skills can help your child to focus on learning at school. Help your child to be confidante in facing the world without you knowing he or she has the skills necessary to succeed.
Do you have any tips on preparing a child for school? What are your suggestions? Our readers would love to hear from you.