You've worked hard to raise a good young boy or girl. They seem smart to you, but how do you know whether they're really prepared for school? Research shows that of all students assessed in the state of Florida roughly 50% of them passed a kindergarten readiness test. While that number seems extremely low, it raises the question that many of our incoming kindergarten parents ask. What do we need to do to prepare our children for their kindergarten education?
There are different types of expectations that we have of students entering our kindergarten environment. The most crucial being a behavioral readiness. On a very basic level, kindergarten students ought to be potty trained. This may go without saying, but with so many children in one class, a kindergarten teacher cannot spend his or her day changing diapers. Additionally, at this age, your normally developing child should be able to listen to instruction and play independently. Of course, all children fall on different ends of an education readiness spectrum, and we know that young girls tend to develop more quickly than boys. The goal here is not perfection, but to see that students are moving in the right developmental direction.
If your child has never attended school before, this transition can be very hard. As you prepare your students for their kindergarten education take the time to nurture their independence. The more experience they have separating from you in a healthy manner, the easier it will be when the first day of kindergarten rolls around. Additionally, children who are only children and not exposed often enough to peers may have difficulties building relationships at first. If your child hasn’t been in preschool, daycare, or otherwise been exposed to her peer group, now is a great time to start. It takes time to develop emotional and social intelligence and the more this happens in advance of school the easier the kindergarten transition will be.
Finally, there are many ways in which you can prepare your child academically for school. Though, at this age, much of the learning that takes place is in the social and emotional sphere. Begin early by teaching him to recognize letters of the alphabet, write his first and last name, and read common sight words. Don’t worry yourself too much if your child is behind the curve at this point in her academic journey, at this age, a tremendous amount of development occurs in a short period of time.
Kindergarten is one of the first steps in a long education journey that you will take with your children. Whether they pass kindergarten readiness assessments with flying colors or struggle at the beginning, the faculty at St. Barnabas School are ready to help guide them to the next step of their education. For more information about enrolling your child in our kindergarten program, give us a call today.