Thank you to Central Christian Academy for sponsoring this post and to Carrie Jones, Director of Admissions, for sharing tips for Kindergarten readiness with our community of Wichita moms.
Your baby is growing up, and kindergarten is right around the corner. Whether you are a full-time stay-at-home mom, a full-time working mom, or fall somewhere in between, the success of your child is at the center of your sweet momma’s heart. Preparing for kindergarten is so much more than the acquisition of an academic skill set which includes alphabet, number, colors, and shape recognition. Here are six ideas to consider as you interact with your child in the months leading up to the world of Kindergarten:
Words, Words, Words
Explore the world of words in a variety of ways. Reading aloud to your child is critical in helping them understand the relationship of letters, words, ideas, stories, and expression of thought. Go ahead and read that same book – you know the one – for the 400th time. It’s laying the foundation for deeper understanding and thought than what is elicited by reading a one-and-done book. Help them determine the front of the book from the back, where the reading begins and ends, the difference between upper and lower case letters, and each letter’s name and sound. Point to the words as you read so they can begin to see there is a connection between spoken and written word. Show them other ways that words are used: signs, menus, directions. Talk to your children. Discuss stories, ideas, feelings, events, etc. Hearing a variety of words and thoughts from adults increases the child’s understanding of the world and fosters larger vocabulary and communication skills.
Same Thing, Different Day
Establish general routines regarding bedtime, meals, playtime, etc. each day. Children with routines at home are more likely to understand and adapt to teacher created boundaries and expectations. Getting adequate sleep, engaging in physical activity, and practicing healthy eating habits go hand-in-hand with a child’s success at school at every grade level.
Who I Am
Kindergarten is the time when your child’s belongings, space, and work are given an identity. After taking a good portion of your day labeling everything he or she will be taking into the classroom, will information on the label be recognized by your child? Be sure that your child can recognize and clearly communicate his or her name, address, phone number, parent’s names and any simple pertinent medical information if necessary.
Look What I Can Do
Gradually increasing your child’s age-appropriate responsibilities helps build confidence in preparation for the many decision-making opportunities they will have when you are not there to help them. Personal care skills include being able (or at least willing to try) to button or snap her coat, zip his pants, tie the shoe, and use the bathroom without assistance. Help your child development fine motor skills with practice using varying sizes of crayons, pencils, paint brushes, chalk, etc. Be sure to work on safe scissor skills while helping them understand what is okay and not okay to cut in the process. It will surely save money on unscheduled salon visits in the long run as well!
Social Butterflies & Bullfrogs
Play games, utilize outings, play dates, group activities, Sunday School and church activities, and other means to help your child work through the dynamics of sharing, taking turns, expressing feelings, working together, following directions, and developing a respect for authority figures and others. Broaden your child’s horizons by exploring local museums, libraries, parks, nature, as well as community arts and recreation opportunities. Capitalize on his or her natural curiosity to develop a life-long love of learning and discovery.
Talk about Kindergarten!
Build excitement and decrease potential anxiety by talking about what your child’s Kindergarten school day might look like. Visit the school, check out the classrooms, and meet the potential teachers.
Central Christian Academy would like to invite you to join us at our upcoming Kindergarten Exploration – Thursday, January 14th, 2016 beginning at 7:00 PM.
Kindergarten Exploration is an evening for parents and incoming kindergarten students to get an engaging glance into a kindergarten day at CCA! Together with your child, you will discover how CCA can partner with your family to build a strong Christ-centered educational foundation.
Children are a gift from the Lord and as parents we are to “…bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4) Finding a nurturing, Christ-centered school to walk alongside you in this pursuit is an added blessing. It is Central Christian Academy’s mission to partner with the Christian home and local church to educate and equip students to reach their full academic, physical and spiritual potential in Jesus Christ.