As your child's first teacher, you play an important role in your child's readiness for school. In a national survey, kindergarten teachers said that parents have the biggest impact on whether a child starts school ready to learn.
According to teachers, the most important abilities when children start school are not necessarily the academic skills that we think of, but social-emotional abilities like getting along with other children and teachers, and working on their own without disrupting the classroom.
Skills like naming letters and counting are important of course, but your child learns those and other skills best through play and everyday hands-on experiences such as reading together daily, playing at parks and playgrounds, shopping together, and visiting museums, zoos, and libraries.
- Takes care of personal needs: ability to go to the bathroom by self including wiping self as needed, wipe and blow nose, wash and dry hands, fasten/unfasten clothing as needed including buttons, snaps, buckles, zippers, laces.
- Has a 15 minute attention span: ability to stay on task listening to a story, coloring, puzzles, etc. Does NOT include watching TV or videos, playing computer or video games.
- Listens while making eye contact and verbally responds when appropriate.
- Follows multi-step directions upon first request: example, “Pick up the toy and put it in the box.”
- Understands the concept of a story: answer simple questions about a story, look at pictures and tell stories.
- Fine motor skills: Holds pencil correctly, looks at a shape and is able to reproduce it, draws a picture, cuts around a simple shape, uses glue and glue sticks.
- Knows personal information: recognize their written name, write first name beginning with a capital letter and the rest lower case, verbally say first and last name, age, date of birth, parent’s name, learning address and phone number.
- Recognizes basic colors and shapes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, circle, square, triangle, rectangle, hexagon.
- Says ABCs: recognize upper and lower case letters, recognize at least letters in name.
- Counts: Rote counts to 30 (minimum of 10), counts 12 items, recognizes numbers 1-10
10 Ways to Get Ready for Kindergarten:
- Create a routine over the summer. Give your child a bedtime (8 p.m. is great!) and stick to it.
- Have your child practice writing their first name. If your child can do this, try the last name or practice lower case letters.
- Use counting in your daily activities. Count how many steps it takes to get to the mailbox or the park. Count out fruit, placemats, napkins, and so forth.
- Take your child with you to the grocery store, post office, library, and other errands. Talk with them about what they're seeing, hearing, and touching. It's all part of learning!
- Visit your local library and help your child get a free library card. Then use the card to visit the library each week and borrow a book. Talk about the books you read. Ask questions like: What was your favorite part of the story? Which part did you like the least? Halfway through, ask your child what they think will happen at the end.
- Let your child practice their independence by allowing them to make certain choices ("Do you want an apple or a banana?") and by encouraging them to try new things and to problem solve.
- Set a limit to the amount of TV your child watches (1-2 hours should be the maximum). When possible, watch TV with them and talk about what you see.
- Prepare a "study spot" for your child and supply it with crayons, paper, scissors, and other kindergarten "tools." Set aside a time each day for your child to draw there. Once school starts, this can become the time and place where your child does their homework.
- Help your child know or be able to do the following before they enter kindergarten: Their name, address,and telephone number; to use the bathroom on their own and button and zip their clothes; to share and play with other children. This will help them adjust to their new kindergarten classroom.
- Read, read read!
*This list was modified from one at www.countdowntokindergarten.org
Books about Kindergarten:
There are a large number of different books available about going to school! Here is a partial list of ones that it may be helpful to read and discuss with your child as they prepare to start elementary school:
The Berenstain Bears Go to School by Stan & Jan Berenstain
Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
Tiptoe Into Kindergarten by Jacqueline Rogers
Welcome to Kindergarten by Anne Rockwell
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
We Share Everything! by Robert Munsch
Missouri Early Learning Standards
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education along with a broad based group of individuals, whose backgrounds are representative of the early childhood community in Missouri, developed a set of standards of what most children should know and be able to do by the time they enter kindergarten. The standards are intended to be used in a variety of early childhood settings by a variety of people: parents, parent educators, child care providers, Head Start and public/private school teachers, etc. They are consistent with current research and recommendations from other state and national initiatives. These standards can be found at http://dese.mo.gov/early-extended-learning/early-learning/missouri-early-learning-standards
Registering your Child for Kindergarten in the Jefferson City Public Schools?
If your child will be 5 years old before August 1st, 2018 and you are planning to enroll him or her in the Jefferson City Public Schools for the 2018-2019 school year, registration information including online registration options will be available in the spring. For more information, visit the JCPS Welcome Center