Acing the Transition to Kindergarten
At Stepping Stone School, we’ve designed our kindergarten-readiness programs to give your child the skills and confidence to make the transition to elementary school an exciting but comfortable one.
But as your child’s first teacher, you are your child’s most powerful influence. Parents contribute enormously to school and life success.
Young children are learning all the time, but the lessons they need most are not learned through workbooks or flashcards. With this transition approaching quickly for some, below are some things you can do to help your child feel prepared for kindergarten.
- Talk with your child. Discuss whatever captures her interest. When she make errors in grammar, simply repeat her sentence back to her correctly. For example, your child may say, “The car ‘goed’ really fast!” And you can reply, “The car went really fast?!”
- Vocabulary. Use correct words and grammar. Describe the items in your child’s world. The more words he knows, the more successful he will be at reading and communicating.
- Read with your child every day. Make it a part of the day your child looks forward to. Model this value for your child by reading for your own pleasure, too.
- Play. Take every opportunity to play with your children or have them play with other children. Children solve problems and learn new skills through play.
- Help your child be familiar with numbers, colors, letters, shapes. Don’t be stressed if your 4-year old cannot count to 100 or sometimes calls brown “chocolate.” Cook with your child: measure, stir, pour, read a recipe, clean up and eat with your child. These activities are fun for your child and give him or her insight into math concepts and help with fine-motor dexterity.
- Guide your child toward self-regulation, self-discipline, empathy, persistence, manners, and other interpersonal and personal skills. These are encouraged myriad ways in our programs, and our teachers are happy to give you examples and ideas for developing these important abilities.
Even if your child has been in a formal program, like Stepping Stone School’s Kindergarten Readiness Academy, entering kindergarten can be intimidating and a little scary for a child. You can ease your child’s first-day jitters by:
- Visiting the new school with your child in advance of “the big day.”
- Modeling a positive attitude about the upcoming change. Children pick up on your emotional cues, and your confidence will help boost theirs.
- Reading stories about the things they are facing calms some children. There are many good books about beginning kindergarten. Talk about what to expect.
- Giving your child choices about school clothes, food and supplies. This can give your child a sense of control and help him or her inch toward greater independence.
- Encouraging everyone to get a plenty of sleep the night before the first day. Make sure to give yourselves plenty of time to get ready in the morning so you won’t feel rushed and even more anxious.
Try to enjoy this transition! It’s a big and wonderful milestone for both you and your child.