8 Things That Kids Should Learn Before Kindergarten
Kindergarten is such an exciting time for children. But, it is also a significant time of learning that will shape the future of their education. Therefore, it is imperative that parents help prepare their children for entering the classroom. As Brian Cox suggests, “The levels of preparedness with which a child enters kindergarten are academic and emotional, and they rely most heavily on being prepared at home.”
You can quickly search the internet and find lengthy lists of things your child should know before kindergarten, but we’ve narrowed it down to the eight most critical skills necessary for kindergarten readiness.
- How to Spell Their Name
When you send your child off to school, your child should be able to recite his/her first and last name. It is also important that your child knows how to spell their name (especially the first name). Teachers will frequently mark what belongs to them using their name (such as desks and cubbies). Also, for your child to be able to spell his/her name, it means he/she also needs to have basic knowledge of letters.
- How to Identify Basic Colors and Shapes
While children should not have rigorous academic drills before kindergarten, it is vital for them to be able to identify basic colors and shapes. For example, children should be able to identify the color red and a circle.
- How to Count to Ten
There are conflicting ideas about children identifying numbers, as this is a skill that will be taught and reinforced in the classroom. Ultimately, children should enter kindergarten at least knowing to count to ten.
- How to Use Writing Utensils
Your child should be able to write using a pencil with the proper three-finger grasp. Additionally, your child should also know how to use scissors correctly.
- How a Book Works
Books are used every day in the classroom; therefore, it is critical that your child knows how to tell the front and back of a book, as well as how the words on the page tell the story. The best way to teach this skill is to read books regularly in your home.
- How to Adjust Their Clothing
Children entering kindergarten must be fully independent when it comes to using the restroom, which means they must be able to adjust their clothing.
- How to Listen and Follow Simply Directions
Kindergarteners are expected to be able to listen and follow simple two to three step directions. The key word here is “simple.”
- How to Interact with Others
Possibly the most important way to prepare your child for kindergarten is to teach him/her how to interact with others. Kindergarten is a time of learning social skills like cooperation. Teach your child to treat others with respect.
Most educators will tell you it is more important to teach your child life skills than drill academics when they are this age. Fortunately, you are most likely already working on these necessary skills without even realizing it.