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Getting your little one ready for Kindergarten

One of the most common questions parents ask me whilst bringing up a preschooler is “What can I do to get my child ready for Kindergarten?”

  • What should they know?

  • How do I prepare them for the transition from home/preschool to the classroom?

  • What skills should they have?

Starting Kindergarten is an enormous milestone in a child’s life as they begin their academic journey. It’s exciting and hugely significant. Children often look forward to this moment for years with anticipation and possibly even a bit of nervousness. This is common for both the child and the parents.

Great news... teachers don’t expect your child to know everything prior to them coming in. However, there are some essential things you can do to ensure your preschooler is prepared, giving them a good foundation so that the transition into big school is much smoother. Through Tightrope Learning's curriculum of amazing activities, the children become comfortable with the environment and practices of big school before steeping through the front gates.

Preparing your little one for Kindergarten

There are two categories of skills parents should be aware of when thinking about Kindergarten readiness: Social Skills and Academic Skills.

We’ll go on to talk about the significance of both and various ways to practice and help your preschooler acquire these skills.

The Top 4 Social Skills to be Ready for Kindergarten

  1. Verbalise Wants and Needs – It is essential for your child to have the ability to communicate verbally and express things that they want and need. When a child has a limit to communicate these things effectively there can arise a level of frustration, which can lead to either social withdrawal or tantrums, neither of which we want for our children. Assist your child in practicing at home by using their words to ask for what they need instead of anticipating and verbalising it on their behalf.

  2. Following Directions – By the time a child is ready for Kindergarten, we want them to have the ability to follow 3 part instructions. For example - unpack your bag, hang your bag on the hook, and then sit on the mat.

  3. Engage in Play – Being able to separate from parents and carers and engage well with other children in play is a vital social skill for preschoolers coming into Kindergarten. Play is a window into learning appropriate social behaviours and developing both communication and problem solving skills. Be intentional about providing your child the best opportunities to engage and become comfortable in play with other children before they reach Kindergarten.

  4. Dress Themselves/Bathroom Independence – Whether it be their jacket, jumper, hat or raincoat, your child will need to be able to take these on and off, remove and put on their backpack, as well as use the school toilets independently. Teachers do not have the ability to assist each individual child with these tasks. Not only will this help your child develop vital skills, but will help the teachers focus on their most important task - teaching our little ones.

The Top 4 Academic Skills Needed for Kindergarten

  1. Writing Their Name – One of the very first academic skills your child will need to know is how to identify their written name and write it on their own.

  2. Identifying Letters and Sounds – Children do not need to know all of their letters and sounds by the end of preschool, but the more they know the easier it will become for them to start to learn to read and write when they get to school.

  3. Counting & Number Awareness – We want children to have the ability to count, but even more so we want them to be forming a good foundation of number sense by matching groups of objects to the number that represents them, one-to-one correspondence, and ideas like one more or one less.

  4. Fine Motor, Scissors, Glue, and Writing Materials – During the first 5 years of a child's life, they develop most of their fine motor skills. It is crucial to support their development through good fine motor play and activities, both of which are offered at Tightrope Learning.

It is essential to remember that children are unique with their individual sets of strengths and challenges which means their rate of development of different skills will vary. Our role as parents and educators is to encourage and support their curiosity and exploration as they learn and develop on their education journey.

Successfully transitioning children from preschool into the classroom

At Tightrope Learning we believe that every child is an individual with different needs and learning styles. When transitioning from Preschool into Kindergarten, every child deserves quality learning goals, specifically taught in order for them to reach their full potential. Contact us today to allow your child to develop they best they can before reaching school. Call us on 0411 067 068 or fill out the contact form today!

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