Tips from a private San Diego Tutor: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Kid for Kindergarten this Fall
Many preschoolers are enjoying summer, sunshine, and time with family before they start their very first year of kindergarten this fall. It’s a major step for kids to go to a full day educational program and being prepared can make the transition a lot easier for both student and parent. There are lots of things parents can do to help their young learner get ready for all that awaits them once they start kindergarten at the end of August.
1. Get used to the idea of a classroom
Many kids will have attended a preschool program for a year or two before they even go to kindergarten and may already be familiar with the classroom environment. On the other hand, lots of kids don’t attend preschool or don’t attend a traditional preschool program, and the idea of listening to a teacher, getting along with classmates, and sitting at a desk & chair might be completely new. It’s a good idea for young kids to get used to the idea of being in this environment so the adjustment is easier overall and they can cope with following directions and working on academics for an entire school day.
2. Work on sharing
Once the kids start kindergarten, they’ll need to share with several other students. At home, crayons, books, toys, etc… all belong to one kid and may be shared with siblings or friends, but it’s not quite the same as sharing every material used in a classroom. Kids who get used to the idea of sharing such items ahead of time have a better chance of getting along with their new classmates once they start school in the fall (READ: 5 Benefits of Developing Great Teamwork Skills).
3. Visit the campus
Some kids might be on the same campus as they were for preschool, but most students will have to make a change when they start kindergarten. Going to a new classroom in a new building at a new campus can be pretty scary for a kid who is just about to turn five. Visiting campus is a great way for kids to feel less anxious about their new environment. Most schools offer a back-to-school night where new students can visit their classroom, meet their teacher, see where their new desk will be, and even start to make some new friends. This takes a lot of stress out of this very important adjustment.
4. Look at kindergarten benchmarks
Educational benchmarks change from year to year and throughout different generations so it’s a really good idea for parents to take a look at the current kindergarten benchmarks and see if there’s anything they might need to go over with their kid before they start school. There are lots of different professional opinions about what benchmarks are appropriate at what age but knowing the current information ahead of time will help students adjust to their new academic environment and get up to speed with the academic tasks they may or may not have mastered yet.
5. Focus on exploration
Starting school for the very first time is an excellent opportunity to explore all of the new information that’s out there in the world. Instilling curiosity in a young student can help them enjoy learning in general, ask pertinent questions during lessons or projects, and find creative ways of doing new things. Students who are encouraged by both parent and teacher to explore and discover are more likely to be excited about going to school each morning and view education as a positive thing.