Beginning kindergarten is a huge milestone for you and your child, here’s how you can help.
You can help prepare your child for kindergarten in many ways. Whether your child is in preschool, child care or at home, the transition from early education programs to kindergarten can be an exciting and stressful time for both parents and children. For many children, kindergarten is their first experience in a formal school setting.
Many parents may not start to think about preparing for the transition to kindergarten until a month or two just before kindergarten begins, however, a successful transition is a process could begin as early as a year ahead.
Social Skills are Important
Much of a kindergarten child’s school day is spent relating to and working with other children. The children will learn to collaborate on projects and share toys and materials. Children who are comfortable working in groups, who are able to cooperate, who are able to talk to and play with others, and follow directions will be more prepared for the kindergarten classroom.
Children with preschool or child care experience have had opportunities to practice these skills. If your child has not had this experience consider enrolling your child in a group activity before kindergarten begins. It would be recommended to take your child to neighbourhood locations, such as, playgrounds, libraries and Ontario Early Years & Family Centre playgroups to meet and learn to play with other children.
You could encourage your child to participate in group activities whenever they occur. If your child is reluctant to join in activities or games, practice these types of games at home with family and friends.
Become Familiar with the School
Many schools host an orientation event for children and their parents, but parents may choose to supplement that with more informal visits. Take your child to visit the school at different times during the day to observe the children, such as playing during recess. Visit the school playground on the weekends. If your child will be riding the bus to school, visit the neighbourhood bus stop to watch the children wait for the bus and board the bus. These activities will help your child feel more comfortable with what can be expected of the daily routine of going to school.
The Licensed Child Care Network has provided parents with the following resources to learn more about preparing your child for kindergarten: