Thursday, August 4, 2016

E is for Eight: Eight Tips for Kindergarten Readiness

As a teacher and as a mom I am always concerned if the little ones in my care are going to be ready for that first big milestone of educational life Kindergarten. (I am pretty sure I am in the minority, but Kindergarten is still ½ day here.)

What was going to be required of these little people to make Kindergarten an easy transition and what could I do to help them be ready for Kindergarten? How can I assist my parents be ready for this milestone and big change?

1.     Encourage responsibilities at school this meant we had jobs. I had a friend carry the clipboard. I had a friend turn off the lights. I had a friend pick up the carpet squares. I had a friend pick the story (from selected books). At home we also have jobs. We don’t even usually use the word chores because at home we also pay commission for jobs.
2.    Experience learning This is easy at school. At home I add learning to everything possible. “Okay it is your job to get the cereal. You need to find the aisle that has a word that starts with “ce”. When they were younger. “Okay Daddy needs the cereal in the purple box. Which one do we need?”
3.    Exhibit good manners little ones need to understand inside voice verses outside voice, walking feet verses running feet and using please and thank you. What better way to teach them these skills by using them yourself?
4.    Expect positive behavior Have specific consequences for undesired behaviors and praise the positive ones!
5.    Ease anxiety Take a tour of the school. Meet teachers. Play on the playground. Climb on the school bus. The more familiar you make going to kindergarten the easier it is going to be.
Mama this is for you.

1.     Except (okay that really should be accept J) we can’t stop them from growing. That is a prayer that will go unanswered EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.
2.    Embrace they are in this moment for once in their lives. Instead of getting caught up in the “where is my baby” embrace the child, kid, tween, teen, young adult. Embrace the moments that are now.
3.    Equip Get yourself ready for what comes next, just keep your eyes on the horizon. What is coming up next that you need to be ready for? For us our dog is old. Thank God that our parents are healthy for the most part and knock on wood this will be their first personal experience with loss. I have already picked up a book or two on how to deal with the loss of a loved pet with children. I am equipping myself for things that are to come, so that I can be the best I can for them. With a little preparation you and your little one are going to be more than ready for this big change.  

Bonus tip: 
hold it together until they are out of sight and wear sunglasses! No matter how well you 
prepare the first day of Kindergarten (when they are going to school) sucks for Mama.

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