Have a child who is going to start kindergarten soon? Read on to find out what they and you need to know.
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A child's first day at kindergarten is momentous in any family's life. Once they walk through the gates of their nursery school, they'll have joined the formal education system, which they'll be a part of for the next 15 years. The coming years will bring with them all types of changes. Your child will eventually go from being a young, dependent infant to a confident adult. Kindergarten puts that perpetual process in motion.
It's natural to be worried about your child at this stage. We all have our own memories of starting kindergarten, some of which might not be all that pleasant. But, your child is sure to love their experience and will remember it forever if you help and guide them through it. To make kindergarten as pleasant and as beneficial as possible for your child, here are a dozen things you need to educate them on before they start.
How To Say And Write Their NameWhile kindergarten is an educational experience, all research seems to suggest that home education is just as important, if not more so, than formal education. For example, children who are able to state and write their name before joining perform better all-round than children who don't.
Make sure your child knows their first and last name before they start their journey into education. If possible, make sure they can say it aloud when asked, too.
How To Patiently Tackle LearningNobody likes being wrong. Even as adults we grimace when somebody corrects us on our speech, work or behavior. For your child, being wrong is equally as disappointing. They're trying to forge their own independence and don't particularly enjoy being told they haven't reached the standard needed to achieve it yet. That's okay, though, their development is a continual process.
While you can't teach your child everything there is to learn, you can teach them how to approach learning in the right way. Do your best to help them understand that patience and willingness to apply themselves will produce the best results. Encourage them not to feel disheartened when something doesn't go their way first time around.
How To Deal With Problems Without Using AggressionUnfortunately for all concerned, problems never go away completely. There is always somebody waiting to challenge us or push our buttons at every stage in life.
Your child won't have a complete grasp on their emotions while at kindergarten. Maturity in this respect takes decades. What they can have, however, is an understanding of what acceptable behavior is and what isn't. They can also have an understanding of the best way to deal with problems within themselves and with others. Aggression, violence, and insulting behavior are never acceptable. To make your child's transition into the education system as smooth as possible, he or she really needs to understand and accept this. Remember, communication is always key!
How To Retell Simple StoriesRepetition is how people learn. This is even truer when talking about children. Every story brings with it a lesson and a chance of self-expression. That's why, even as adults, stories are a big part of how we communicate.
If your child is able to retell simple stories, he or she will grow in social confidence. They'll also be able to build rapport with teachers and students, as well as solve problems better.
To encourage your child to communicate to the best of their ability, ask them to tell you about their favorite movie or TV episode. You can also make it a habit to ask them about their day.
How To Use The RestroomAt some point in your child's life, they're going to have to use the bathroom at kindergarten or school. While these bathrooms won't be like the ones at home, and mommy and daddy won't be there to help, they're all that's available.
Your child should be able to verbalize their intention to use the restroom, as well as be able to adjust their clothes appropriately afterwards. They should also be in the habit of washing their hands afterwards, and shouldn't need to be reminded to do so.
How To Pay AttentionChildren are famous for their short attention spans. They could be sitting and enjoying a movie one minute, then bouncing around on the sofa the next.
For the most part, a short attention span is natural in people of a very young age. Energy courses through their veins, and there's just so much to do and see.
When at kindergarten, however, they'll be required to learn and interact. This requires the ability to pay attention. Ideally, your child should know how to sit still and pay attention for at least 5 minutes or so.
How To Count To TenThe Jackson 5 famously sang, "It's as easy as A-B-C, 1-2-3."
Unfortunately for your child, counting isn't as easy for them as it was for the iconic pop group. Counting is everywhere, though, so even though it can be a challenge at first, it needs to be mastered.
Most young children can count to ten, but there are those who can't. Failure to do so at kindergarten age usually represents a lack of commitment on the parents' part.
To encourage your child to memorize numbers, get them to count with you whenever possible. Count the toys being put back in the box, and count the number of steps in your house.
ConclusionAs a parent, it's your job to make your child's life as easy and as enjoyable as possible. One way you can do this is to give them a good foundation of knowledge and principles to use and build upon as they grow.
Kindergarten can be a difficult time for any child. Being removed from a parent and forced to keep an alien routine is strange for anybody at first. By making sure they know how to do the above things before starting kindergarten or first grade, though, you'll help ensure they're as confident and as able as possible. As parents, isn't that what we all want?
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