Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Getting your child ready for kindergarten

A generation ago most children entered kindergarten directly from the home – with little experience outside their immediate family. Needless to say, the situation is quite different today. Most children have had some experience spending the day in a preschool or child care setting.

By the time a child today is ready for kindergarten, most have mastered these important tasks:
·         They know how to depend on peers and other adults in addition to their own parents.
·         They can manage the anxiety that sometimes accompanies being away from their parents.
·         They can accept the authority of the teacher, another family member, or other adult.
A happy preschool experience usually helps to promote a comfortable transition into kindergarten. However, once in kindergarten, they are faced with a new set of responsibilities. Here are some things parents can to do help their child with the kindergarten transition.
·         Encourage the child to want to do things for him or herself. This builds his or her confidence. When faced with a new situation or experience, confident children are willing to try.
·         Help make your child’s world a language-rich environment. Words are the tools your child will be using for thinking and communicating with others and it is very important that skills in using language be as highly developed as possible.
·         Give your child responsibilities such as setting the table or putting away clothes. He or she is a valued member of the family and because of this, he or she has some family responsibilities. This is preparation for group living in the classroom.
·         Be consistent in discipline. Mean what you say and follow through with it. Consistency eliminates a lot of “testing” that children may engage in with the teacher.
·         Try to avoid comparing your child to others. Each child is unique and develops at a different rate from a sibling, a cousin or a neighbor.
·         Encourage your child to ask questions. That “Why?Why?Why?” may be annoying, but a child’s natural curiosity should be nurtured and questions are an excellent foundation for language interaction.
·         Be a good role model. When your child sees you reading and writing in a variety of situations for pleasure and work, he will recognize the value of reading and writing.

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