This month we are doling out a bit of free advice about kindergarten readiness. We’ve noticed that this topic starts trending for preschool parents this time of year, particularly as private schools begin their kindergarten screenings.
We’ve seen some of you anxiously wringing your hands wondering if your child will be ready. Others of you seem confident about your game plan. In either case, here are a few things to keep in mind
Your child will continue to grow and develop rapidly in the months leading up to the start of kindergarten. If there are readiness skills (such as knowing the letters of the alphabet) that your child is not mastering at this point in the school, there is time to get your child “ready.” Your involvement is crucial. Children need time at home and at school to practice skills. If you need specific tips, your child’s teacher is happy to suggest some.
Our advice: Take an intentional and playful approach to engaging in learning with your child, but don’t get stressed. Skip the hype and keep learning fun! Here’s a Pinterest board with some of our ideas: School Readiness
Your child may benefit from trying our Extended Day Program. The typical kindergarten school day is much longer than a typical preschool day. To help your child prepare for a longer day, you may consider having them stay for lunch and enrichment that we offer through our popular Extended Day program. Did you know that eating lunch at school is a readiness skill?
Our advice: Contact our Extended Day Coordinator, Debbie Karaus, to ask more questions and find out about availability. Kids LOVE lunch boxes!
If your child has a summer birthday, this does NOT automatically mean you should delay the start of kindergarten. Although this practice has gained popularity, wise parents will take some time to ask themselves, “What are we hoping to gain by holding our child back? How with this benefit our child?” If a child is ready (academically and socially/emotionally) for kindergarten but they repeat preschool for some other reason, the kindergarten year may not be challenging enough for them….which can lead to boredom or acting out behaviorally.
Our advice: Take time to pray and talk to trusted “experts” to make a decision based on solid information about what is in the best interest of your child. Don’t just follow a trend.
If you child has good academic skills but has a hard time with emotional composure or self-regulation in a learning environment, this could be good reason to delay the start of kindergarten. Social-emotional learning is a big deal for us at Weekday School because we know these skills are essential for learning to take place. That’s why we report to you on how your child handles transitions, separates from parents, manages upset, gets along with classmates, etc. on the fall and spring assessments.
Our advice: Talk with your child’s teacher if you have concerns about your child’s social-emotional skills. Ask what things you can do at home to support this area of your child’s development.
Disclaimer - this is our point of view based on our play-based approach to teaching the whole child. When you visit others schools, you may get a different opinion about kindergarten readiness. This is our story and we’re sticking to it!