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Getting Your Child Ready for Kindergarten

   freedigitalphotos.net

freedigitalphotos.net

Many parents ask how to prepare their child for kindergarten.  The answer to that question is not a simple to do list.  It is not a quick preparation, but a life long learning process.  What your children learn from birth will prepare them for all the new adventures that life will offer.

Newborn babies are totally dependent on caregivers to take care of their basic needs.  A caregiver must feed babies regularly, nurture them, talk to them, bath and dress them in order for the baby to grow and survive.  Babies learn to cry as a way to communicate with the caregivers and soon realize how to get reactions from others by smiling and making sounds. They will learn to trust that needs are being met as caregivers respond to them. Babies soon begin to develop skills that will help them survive as they get older and begin to feed themselves, crawl, walk and move around by themselves.  They begin to explore their environment and discover how things are manipulated with their hands, feet and mouth.

As young children begin to develop language, they discover new communication skills that help them get what they need, (or want).  Children need to be talked to and read to often to help them develop language.  They will hear the words and try to imitate them.  Social situations are very important in fostering language and communication skills.  Children learn by examples of what is shown and taught to them.  Ask them questions so they can learn how to listen and respond.

Young child with book.

Young child with book. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Self -help skills are extremely important to attain independence.  They must know how to feed themselves, take care of bathroom needs, wash their hands and dress themselves.  Children must learn how to interact and socialize with people around them, through actions and conversations.  Playing with other children can help with concepts of sharing, taking turns, and making friends.  (see my blog posted previously about social skills). Children that have learned the alphabet, and numbers have a head start when they are to begin kindergarten.  How to hold a pencil, use scissors and how to write their name gives them a great advantage too.  They need to know how to problem solve, follow directions and finish a task.

Children must be able experience new environments such as; the park, grocery store, zoo, other people’s home or daycare centers, to be able to see other people to gain knowledge.  They need to ask questions to understand situations unfamiliar to them.  This will help them adjust to new opportunities.  They need to be able to be comfortable in new places as well as emotionally strong enough, brave enough, to be away from caretakers.

So, how to prepare children for kindergarten starts from birth.  Children must learn to be able to communicate with adults and other children.  They must have self-help skills, be physically, emotionally and cognitively mature enough to be able to be on their own.  This is what they have learned from the moment they are born.

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What will my child need to bring to kindergarten?

image from freedigitalphotos.net

image from freedigitalphotos.net

One of my followers asked advise of what kind of school supplies can she get as a gift for her niece, who will be starting kindergarten soon. Well Ashley, and everyone else, I have been researching this question and I found out most schools will either collect money from each family to purchase what supplies the teachers want, have supplies already available for each student, or they will provide a detailed list of what they want each child to have.

There are always the basic supplies every child needs for school, either to bring with them or to have available at home for homework.  Yes, even many kindergarten children will have homework!  Below are a few standard items that each child may possibly need.

  • A backpack large enough to fit a 9 x 12 folder (some prefer not wheeled)

    image from freedigitalphotos.net

    image from freedigitalphotos.net

  • Box of crayons
  • Box of colored markers (washable)
  • Box of colored pencils (already sharpened)
  • Bottle of white school glue
  • Glue sticks
  • #2 pencils (already sharpened)
  • A pencil eraser
  • A pencil sharpener (handheld type)
  • Child size scissors (blunt but not plastic)
  • Shoe box type container for storing supplies in
  • Multi colored pack of construction paper
  • Pocket folders
  • Lunch box if they need to bring lunch
  • Large box of tissues (children use a lot of these)

Every kindergarten teacher has their own preference to what supplies they want the children in the classroom to have.  What ever you need to purchase, be sure the child’s name is on everything they take to school.  It will help clear up some of the confusion over glue bottles or a box of crayons.

I have listed a few links to websites that can help parents in their quest for school supplies.

http://www.parentsconnect.com/parenting-your-kids/parenting-kids/learning-and-school/school-supplies-for-kids/school_supplies_k-2nd.html

http://voices.yahoo.com/top-10-essential-school-supplies-kindergarten-6559656.html

http://www.education.com/files/static/se-backtoschool/shopping-list-kindergarten.pdf

School will be starting soon, and many kindergarten children might feel scared and intimidated by the older children.  As I mentioned in previous blogs, help your children be prepared, show them the classroom, read stories about going to school and be positive and upbeat about sending them off to kindergarten.  Does this help?