One of our goals at Mt. Olive Preschool is to prepare our children for Kindergarten. This week we’ll look at a few of the goals we strive for to get our children “Kindergarten Ready”.
1. Age: This goal is really out of our hands, but is still important to be aware of! In Minnesota, children must by 5 years by September 1st to enroll in Kindergarten. If your child does not quite make the cutoff, you may do testing with the school district and request an early entry option. Those spots are limited.
2. Self-Control: While this skill may not even be fully mastered by adults all the time, your child should begin to show signs of more self-control when they are ready to enter Kindergarten. Being able to listen to others, take turns, and find proper outlets for their emotions are important. A fun way to practice this is to play board games that require turn taking with your child to help them develop patience.
3. Self-Care Skills: Your child should be self-sufficient in most self-care skills—toileting, hand-washing, cleaning up spills, blowing nose, getting dressed—before Kindergarten. Some special circumstances may prevent your child from fully mastering all of these skills, but they should have experience attempting all of them on their own, and know to ask for help when they need it.
4. Academic Knowledge: Believe it or not, your child doesn’t NEED to be reading and writing fluently before Kindergarten. Children develop at their own pace, and this includes academically. We strive to make sure that each child recognizes some letters and their sounds before Kindergarten (especially the ones in their names), and has multiple are varied experiences with math, science, social studies, art, music, physical education, and literacy. If your child has mastered reading and can write short stories before Kindergarten, that’s great! If they can recognize their name and write the letters in it, that’s also great! Don’t worry, they will grow, learn, and succeed on their own time. By giving them the freedom to do such you give them the gift of happiness and self-confidence.