How to Help Your Child Get Ready for Kindergarten
I have several friends who are kindergarten teachers, and their number one complaint is the lack of school readiness that they observe in many of their students. In the end, these students end up having to repeat Kindergarten, because they have not successfully learned or demonstrated the foundational skills that it takes to tackle the 1st-grade curriculum.
This is a sad commentary, as this could have been avoided if their parents and former preschool teachers made a few simple tweaks in their approach to early childhood education. In this piece, I will discuss how you as a parent can help your child get ready for kindergarten. If you follow my tips and also enroll them in a high-quality preschool program, they will be prepared for kindergarten and beyond.
Read to them
It is never too early to start reading to your child. As a matter of fact, you should start reading to them while they are in the womb. Reading to your child consistently during their preschool years encourages early literacy, or what a child knows about communication, reading, and writing before they learn to read and write. Personally, I read my two-year-old son at least a couple of books per day, and I encourage him to ask questions, and offer commentary. For instance, if a cow enters the story, I might ask “What sound does a cow make?” or “How many cows do you see?” Adding these kinds of nuisances to storytime encourages your child’s cognitive development.
Practice an authoritative parenting style
Authoritative parents demonstrate “high responsiveness and high demands.” They’re extremely warm and responsive to the child’s physical and emotional needs, but they also hold the child to high standards. Expectations and boundaries are clearly and consistently enforced. This parenting style generally produces the best results in children. Children raised by authoritative parents tend to be content, independent, cooperative, warm, competent, and assertive. They have good social skills and go on to be confident, academically successful, and engaged in positive activities. As a result, they enter kindergarten ready to rock and roll.
Play, Play, Play
A large portion of what children learn during the preschool years is discovered through play. Because of this, you should allow your child to spend a lot of time playing, but in a structured way. By structured, I mean providing the child with parameters and guidance when necessary and toys and materials to facilitate these play-based activities. Below you will find descriptions of the 8 types of play, which should help you figure out how to help your child experience all of them.
Constructive Play– When a child uses materials to construct objects that mirror the real world.
Dramatic Play– When a child pretends to be someone else and uses improvisational skills to create and act out dramatic scenes.
Exploratory Play– When a child discovers how materials work through play.
Cooperative Play– The act of engaging in recreational activities in which children collaborate to achieve a common objective.
Parallel Play– The act of engaging in recreational activities with others but with little interaction amongst the participants.
Associative Play– The act of engaging in recreational activities in similar ways to parallel play, but with more interaction between the participants including sharing, taking turns, and having a general interest in the activities of the others.
Solitary Play– The act of engaging in recreational activities by oneself and unaccompanied by others.
Social Pretend Play– A complex form of social play where the child must be able to engage in the basic concept of the game as well as interact with others. It requires the more complicated coordination of the two activities at the same time.
Well, I have listed and discussed three ways that parents can prepare their children for kindergarten. I hope this helps.