Preparing your child for kindergarten isn’t always the easiest task, especially if you don’t know where to begin. A lot of parents spend a fortune on preschool programs that can make things more complicated and frustrating for the child, while other parents simply wait until it is time to register for kindergarten. Then ten ideas will help you to prepare your child for kindergarten without forcing you to spend a fortune. This should help ease the stress of your child’s upcoming years at school while helping to boost your child’s love of education before they ever set foot in a classroom.
Of course, one of the best options for preparing your child for school is preschool. You can find preschool in many different places as well, so you should be able to suit your family’s needs in this way. Most elementary schools will have a preschool or head start option, while daycares and churches also might offer the same schooling. You may also check into private or Montessori schools to see if tuition prices fit your budget. A lot of schools will offer scholarships or grants while most public schools will grant free entry to children if the family makes less than a certain amount of money. You will have to discuss this with your unique school district, and you will probably have to fill out forms to make this possible. The good news is, if you qualify for free preschool, you will most likely qualify for free or reduced lunch too.
In today’s world, there are so many amazing apps dedicated to helping your child succeed. You will find apps like Homer, ABC Mouse, and other developmental apps will help your child begin the early stages of reading in no time at all. These apps will cost you money, but if you hold out for a sale, the price tag will be very small in comparison to a normal yearly pass. Other apps that are free can actually help children out too. Noggin and PBS Kids are great resources that won’t cost you a penny and that work around your children’s favorite cartoon characters. This is a great incentive to get them to learn while they’re enjoying some screen time.
3. Follow a Routine
Routine is one of the key ways to help a child thrive. Incidentally, it is also something children will need to know how to follow when they begin kindergarten. Children that aren’t introduced to the structure before school begins, might have trouble sitting down and working on tasks or engaging in the activities that have been planned for them. Routines are very easy to follow through and can help make life at home easier for everyone. Simply work around the things your family does on a daily basis, like meals, cleaning up, and entertainment activities. This will help everyone naturally flow into the routine. Make sure to bring up learning periods with periods of play so children can stay engaged throughout the day.
4. Work on Emotional Health
Emotional health has been a huge topic over the past year and can be very important when it comes to your child. Working on emotional health before children go to school can help improve their learning experience while also allowing them to fit in better. It will even make their teachers’ lives a bit easier. Emotional health comes with learning how to identify emotions and work to improve the way you feel when you are feeling something intensely. There are many techniques for this, so browse around to see what works best for your children.
When it comes to early education, reading is one of the best things you can do for your children. Allowing kids to pick out stories and read them will help them find an early love of reading that can stick with them for a lifetime. Reading to children will also introduce them to new ideas which will inspire them to want to learn more. Apart from that, it will also show them letters and how they sound, which is crucial in the early days of phonics. Of course, reading is a great way for you to bond with your child. Reading to your child isn’t the only way to encourage literacy. Allowing your child to see you read for enjoyment is also a great idea. So, make sure you pull out the books and enjoy sharing such an important part of life with your little ones.
6. Encourage Responsibility
Without a doubt, encouraging your child to be responsible is another great way to prepare them for kindergarten and life in general. This doesn’t mean your child should be responsible for the primary care of a pet, nor does it mean they should have major chores. However, a few minor things here or there can help your child prepare efficiently. Pets are one of the best ways to help children learn responsibility from a young age. One chore they can take on is giving the animals food. Of course, this should be done under supervision to ensure the pet is actually fed. Picking up their own toys, getting dressed, clearing out their backpack, and so on, can also help your child learn responsibility. This will especially come in handy with homework.
Most children get to spend a lot of time with their own toys before they head to kindergarten. If a child doesn’t have a sibling or constant playmates, then they may find sharing to be a huge challenge. Even some children that are asked to share frequently may struggle with the concept. This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. However, children will be asked to share when they go to school. So, you might want to work on playing games that help your child learn the basics of sharing. This will make the transition to school easier while also allowing your child to make friends easily. This can help prepare children for teamwork in the future, too.
8. Work on Motor Functions
Motor functions are something that all children need to work on, so don’t hesitate to start them on little exercises at a very early age. For kindergarten, your child will definitely need to know how to hold a crayon properly. So, allow your child to color as much as possible. As they grow older, they may naturally hold a crayon properly. However, some children may need further instruction. Exercises like standing on one foot are another activity that children need to work on. This can help with core strength and balance, which will allow children to learn new games and play with their schoolmates. If you’re not sure how to work on motor functions with your kids, there are a lot of ideas online.
9. Let Them Play
Working with children on their skills for school is very important, but so is allowing them to spend time playing. For children, playing is learning, so it is important to keep them excited about the world around them as they play. Free play will allow children to develop independence, creativity, and wonder, which can help them go far in life. However, you can also base learning around games. There are so many educational games you can find online to help your child learn and thrive. You can even base your research on your child’s individual needs and desires.
10. Know What’s Required
One of the biggest things you can do to help you and your child out is to learn what is required for kindergarten. Things change yearly, so keeping up to speed with everything that your child needs will help you to feel confident as you work with your child. It will also help you figure out a timeline for learning based on your child’s age. You can look up kindergarten requirements online to help you stay up to speed. There are also some free curriculums available so you can help your child learn quickly and efficiently.
Helping your child prepare for kindergarten is definitely a must. With these simple tips, you should be able to handle everything that is needed to get your child ready to excel in their new learning environment. Best of all, your child will feel confident about school, which can ease a lot of the stress they may feel. You can easily suit your budget too, which will ease even more burden from you.