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What Kids are Required to Know Before They Go Into Kindergarten

by Gwen Bruno

The first day of kindergarten can be both exciting and overwhelming for a young child. Within a very short time, however, he will begin to settle into the classroom routine and make many new friends. It’s important to know what is expected of your child before he enters school. That way, you can help smooth the transition by preparing him accordingly.

Everyday Skills

Your child’s kindergarten teacher will expect him to independently care for himself in simple ways. Parents can help ready children for the classroom by ensuring that they know how to zip or button their own coats and fasten their own shoes. If children can’t yet tie their shoes, they need slip-on or hook-and-loop closure shoes. Kindergarteners should be able to independently use the bathroom, wash their hands and blow their noses by themselves. It’s also important that they can clearly say their name, address and phone number.

Be a Good Listener

Being able to listen, both to the teacher and to classmates, is an essential skill for kindergarten students. One of the best and most enjoyable ways to build a preschooler’s listening ability is to read aloud to him. Sharing picture books and singing songs with your child on a daily basis helps build listening skills, increase vocabulary and lengthen attention span. Enrolling your youngster in play groups, public library storytimes and preschool classes are all effective ways to prepare him for listening to adults and participating as a member of a group.

Get Along With Others

A kindergartener’s social skills are every bit as important as his academic readiness. Parents can help build a child’s social skills by setting up play dates with friends. Take every opportunity to explain the concepts of taking turns and sharing. Parents should monitor their preschooler’s disputes with other children, encouraging them to compromise to solve problems. A child who solves conflicts with words will get along well with others in the classroom.

Be Ready to Learn

Having certain academic readiness skills positions your child to master the kindergarten curriculum. Well-prepared kindergarteners recognize letters and know their numbers up to 10. Sharing alphabet and counting books with your preschooler will ready him for reading and arithmetic. All kindergarteners should be familiar with the names of basic colors and shapes. Having experience with pencils, markers and crayons before they come to school will help new kindergarteners quickly adapt to the writing they will learn in the classroom.

About the Author

Gwen Bruno has been a full-time freelance writer since 2009, with her gardening-related articles appearing on DavesGarden. She is a former teacher and librarian, and she holds a bachelor's degree in education from Augustana College and master's degrees in education and library science from North Park University and the University of Wisconsin.

Photo Credits

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