How do I prepare my child for Kindergarten?
Well, Kamloops parents, it’s that time of year again when everyone starts thinking about school options in the fall for their little kindergarten children, and where they might consider sending them off to school. Kamloops offers all kinds of school options from Fine Arts to Science, from public schools to private schools.
Of course, before you send your children off to school, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re ready for the classroom. Here’s the question we often ask ourselves: what does my kindergartner need to know before going to school? How do I prepare my child for Kindergarten?
If your kindergartner can handle the following, then they are ready for class to begin! It's okay if they struggle a bit with some of these activities, but you should spend some time before school starts working with them in order to prepare them to start Kindergarten this fall.
Follow simple directions. It's important that your child can listen to a teacher and follow simple instructions. Be aware that kindergartners should not be expected to follow complex instructions. When it comes to evaluating your child’s ability to listen and follow directions, we’re recommending two steps, at the most. Simple instructions mean just a few items to remember, and very specific and concrete actions. For example, can your child follow a request from you to pick up a particular toy and put it away?
Sit still. Your Kindergartner may fidget and wiggle around quite a bit at this young age, and that’s a great thing! Kamloops is an active community, and your family is probably an active family. And, of course, your child is definitely active and playful at this age. However, your kindergartner should be able to remain in one spot just long enough to listen to a story and participate in class activities. But temper your expectations. We’re not expecting children to sit motionless, but to be calm enough to listen to a story without disrupting or distracting other students.
Use the washroom independently. Your kindergartner should be able to know when they have to go to the bathroom and be able to manage it by themselves.
Recognize some letters and numbers. Believe it or not, it's OK if your child isn't reading when they start school. It’s not even expected at First Baptist Classical Kamloops, where we pride ourselves on academic achievement. But your student should be able to recognize some of the letters of the alphabet, along with some numbers.
Work on fine and gross motor skills. Your child should have some practice jumping and running, throwing a ball, and holding a pencil and scissors. Many children will have had the opportunity to practice these skills in preschool or in other early education programs. However, when it comes to these types of activities, remember that it is as much about your kindergartners unique physical development as much as it is about practice. Children's hands take on different shapes and sizes. They naturally will work better with some tools rather than others. As a result, writing with a large diameter pencil will come before holding an average size pencil. With this in mind, no kindergarten teacher will expect your child have these skills perfected at this point.
Get along well with peers. Ideally, your child knows how to share and take turns.
Handle emotions. It's normal for a 5 year old to break down in tears when he's upset. But it's also important that he knows how to gain control himself even if he is sad, or has some coping mechanisms for calming down.
Show an interest in learning. He doesn't have to be a little Einstein, but it helps if your child enjoys listening to stories, music and books and seems interested by the information.
Parents, don’t be worried if your child struggles in one or two areas. Really, as a parent of a soon-to-be kindergartner, you should consider the whole picture. Every child is unique and not all children develop at the same time. If your child struggles in one way or another, it’s probably fine!
The important thing to remember is that your child will soon be joining their classmates on the first day of Kindergarten. With many other students from around Kamloops, they are embarking on a journey of learning and discovery as well as making new friends. It’s a wonderful time for them as they grow, and it’s a proud moment for you, moms and dads. If we can help you as you consider these next steps, please don’t hesitate to give us a call here at First Baptist Classical Academy of Kamloops!