How to Prepare Your Child For Pre-k/ Kindergarten
Sending your baby off to school all alone can be a scary thought, but it doesn't have to be. After-all, if you were confident that your son or daughter was completely prepared, would you be nearly as nervous? Okay, maybe so, but the peace of mind that your child is a little more ready couldn't hurt. So let's talk about some things that will help you and your child feel a little more prepared when it comes to the "big, bad wolf" aka-- school.
Pre-k and kindergarten is a massive shift from their normal everyday life at home. Whether they already had a mini-routine in place or not, school shakes that up and takes it to a whole new level. Helping your child get into the swing of a daily routine is a great start. Giving your child an outlet where they are in an environment where they have to listen as part of that routine is an even better start.
School requires a lot of major life skills, but one of these that really help children of a younger age succeed earlier on is having listening skills. And before you click off of this article faster than kids run into your room on Christmas morning, I am not saying that your kids do not listen to you. When I mention listening skills as a way to set your child up for a successful first school year I mean 2 things:
1) The ability to listen for an extended period of time (see the next paragraph of this article for that)
2) The ability to listen to other as well, or better, than they listen to you. Simply because you are not at school with them so they need to be able to listen and follow directions from other adults.
Giving your child an outlet where they have to listen to someone other than you in a learning environment is a great way to instill this before school-time rolls around.
Focus. Raise your hands if you wish your kid had more of it. I am imagining hands flying up all around the world. Heck, I wish I had more focus and I'm a grown adult. If you think about pre-k and kindergarten as the foundation for the rest of your child's scholastic career then naturally you want them to have a very strong start. Now I'm not suggesting that you should get your 4 year old to the point of being able to sit through a 7 hour seminar on the drying of paint on a wall, but having them be able to easily concentrate on a 30 minute lesson or practice of some sort is a start.
Now I could go on and on about this topic, but we are going to end on a note that is important for all kids but particularly important for the only children of the world. A skill that, if learned well enough, will skyrocket your child's success through school and well into adulthood: team work. After all, to be a good leader, don't you need to know how a team works? Of course! But back to 4 year olds. In school they will be with many other children. Basic teamwork skills like working together, turn taking, and group socialization are imperative. Having an extracurricular activity where they are around other children and they are working together in some form or fashion will help astronomically when the beginning of the school year sneaks up on you.
If you give your child these skills then school will not only be easier for them, but you will feel better about it too!
There are a few activities that touch all of the topics you read about today.