If you have a son like mine, September can’t come soon enough for him. Kindergarten is truly the starting point for all things education with most children. Before Kindergarten – they may have been in a daycare or with sitters or a play-nap-learn-play Preschool center or even are well prepared already from a Montessori program. But at age 5 (or so) they hear Kindergarten and to them that means lunch boxes and recess. This year my son will leave his Home daycare center where he got basic reading and math skills and enter the public school system. We are moving in July over 80 miles away so this new school district is even new to me and our older son who will enter 10th grade in the new district. Moving and sending my baby to Kindergarten all in a 7 week period-YIKES!
At least I have my plan and by now you should also! At this point you should have or very, very soon begin to…
- register them at your school of choice
- make their Kindergarten well check – yes shots are needed if you vaccinate.Polio, DTaP, MMR, Heptitis B and Chickenpox…bring lots of patience and rewards for this appointment!
- Talk Kindergarten with your child
- Register for the am or pm care if you work – many schools have them. A before school and/or after school YMCA or care program for them to attend. At preschool many that age are not allowed, but by Kindergarten they should now accept your child.
With my son, I am choosing part time Kindertgarten so I can supplement him at home. I just think there is so much their eager minds are capable of and it is not used to capapcity at Kindergarten yet. I have begun my own research into home schooling programs to enrich him with an age-appropriate geography, science and history regimen. This move for us is because of my Husband’s promotion and I get to leave the full-time work field and stay home. I couldn’t do all this supplemental education if I was to work full time. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity and want to use it to the best of our Boys’ opportunities.
The Kindergarten curriculum may expect a few skills to already be in place and you may need time this summer to start preparing your child in these skills. A standard Kindergarten program wants a child to enter already knowing the following:
- They should know proper hygiene. I have a child that likes to yell for me to “wipe his bottom”. I had to start training him weeks ago that I understand he hates being dirty, but that he will be in school soon and Mommy will not be there to wipe his bottom and neither will teacher want that task!
- They should know how to tie their own shoes…or go velcro!
- Use fine motor tools: cut with scissors, hold a pencil, trace basic shapes, bounce a ball, button/zip clothing
- Basic reading/writing: Know their first and last name and how to spell first name, recognize the letters of the alphabet and their sounds
- Count – at least to 20.
- Social skills such as sharing, listening (or the concept anyhow), understand a bit of cause and effect, pay attention in short spans
- have a general sense of times of the day
- ….and some more but the list can go on and on. These are a few general skills.
At this point, my son needs my attention on tying shoes and to start some Kindergarten readiness this summer to keep his skills up to par. Summer is a long period for a 5 year old and retention can be lost.
By the end of summer, he will have been weaned on to a routine of bed, little electronics and learning time to prepare him for school days.
We love a few online programs for readiness: Starfall and ABC Mouse as well as intriguing them with characters they are familiar with. Nickjr.com has math lessons in their Team Umizoomi games and Disney jr has a 2 player Mickey Mouse game to teach sharing and learning skills. They have more fun when they can relate. Education.com is like a Groupon for all things education-related and you can score some great deals and find fun stuff there.