In a few short weeks, my oldest son will be starting Kindergarten. It would be an understatement to say that we are excited. We have ordered school supplies, picked out a backpack, purchased a pair of awesome sneakers and made a list of our favorite lunches. But is this enough to make sure that our boy is Kindergarten ready?
This past year, my son was fortunate enough to attend a phenomenal full day Pre-K program at one of the fabulous Rockwall public schools. He was on the same campus as Kindergarten-6th-grade students. He learned the routines of the school, he participated in field trips (on a big yellow school bus) and he learned and developed important leadership characteristics (He also took naps, had two recesses and enjoyed a couple of snacks throughout the day…all very important tasks for a 4-year-old). He had the most wonderful teacher that graciously answered all of my many worried mom questions and at the end of the year, she reassured me that our son is indeed Kindergarten ready.
But I must confess, even with all of that, sometimes I lay awake at night, scouring the web for Kindergarten readiness tips. Like most parents, I want to make sure that I have done my part in providing him with the experiences and resources to help him be successful.
I recently came across an archived post from Brightly, entitled “Ten Things You Can Do This Summer To Get Your Child Ready For Kindergarten“.
(By the way, Brightly is an incredible online resource that helps parents raise children who love to read. It is perhaps my favorite reading and parenting website right now. Not only do I use it in my professional life as an elementary school librarian, but it is my personal go to source for up to date book recommendations for each of my own children’s ages and stages. In addition to book recommendations, Brightly also shares reading tips and insights for helping parents keep kids connected and engaged with reading, as well as the special events that take place in their young lives. I can not say enough about this great resource!)
Based on the conversations that I have had with my own son’s Pre-Kindergarten teacher as well as other colleagues in the educational field, the information that is given in Brightly’s article is spot on. From tips like, “emphasize socialization ” to “practice independent tasks”, I believe the article provides great advice for what I as a parent can do to help my son prepare for Kindergarten. Most things he has mastered and some we need to continue working on, but overall, I am confident that he is ready to walk through those Kindergarten doors in a couple of weeks. I just hope his new teacher is ready for HIM!
To my fellow Kindergarten mamas, although each school’s readiness guidelines might be different or more detailed, these tips seem to be a great general guide for where we as parents can start. I am hoping they will either help ease your nervousness (because your child has mastered all of these!) or give you a guide for how to help your future Kindergartner get ready for an amazing year!
One last thing – as an educator, I want to remind you that one of the most important things you can do is understand that your child is a unique individual with his own personal gifts, talents, and abilities. My son’s Pre-K teacher always reminded me that he would get there “in his time” and I saw that happen in many ways throughout the year. Be positive, appreciate your child’s uniqueness, be his biggest cheerleader and believe in his ability to succeed. Congratulations mamas! We made it to Kindergarten! Now let’s look forward to a fantastic year of growth and learning!