7 Tips to Help Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten

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Kindergarten is an exciting transitioning phase in your child’s life. It is the time when  your child’s motor co-coordinating skills develop. In kindergarten, your child learns more about social and communication skills to help improve their sense of independence, self-confidence, and self-reliance. If you are preparing to take your child to kindergarten, it is necessary that you take the time to pave the child for this phase in their life. Focus your energy on preparing your kid emotionally for what to expect in kindergarten.   Here are 7 ways to prepare your child for kindergarten:   1. Read a book daily This is one of the most important activities that you can engage your child in to prepare them for kindergarten. Reading a book daily will help to develop their language and reading skills. Most children enjoy reading colorful books about their world. They also love having these books read over and over again. Make sure you run your finger under words and read them out clearly so that your child can recognize the sounds.    2. Fine motor skills Today, most children learn their letters and numbers from their TVs, computers or tablets. They spend so much time glued to these screens and do not get the chance to write or draw. Start giving your child crayons and paper often to scribble. Take the time to teach them how to properly hold a pencil. Let them draw trees, write letters and numbers, draw family portraits or just scribble something on their piece of paper.    3. Play dates If you know another child who will be attending kindergarten at the same school, set up play dates before school kicks in. It will benefit your child to make a friend or two before school starts. Seeing a familiar face on their first day of school will help your child settle in more  comfortably. These play dates can take place at the park, at your place or the neighborhood pool. The aim should be for the kids to bond over shared interests.    4. Tour the school with your child Research shows that most children get upset on their first day of kindergarten because they are unsure of what is going to happen next. Take a day off to tour your child’s new school, preferably during the registration week or before schools open. Stroll through the school’s corridors, and peek into the classrooms along the way. If possible, meet up with your child’s designated class teacher and introduce them. Take time to familiarize your child with the school.    5. Help your kid to be more independent When your kid goes to school, you will not be available to help feed them, tie their shoelaces or zip up their coats. Therefore, take time to teach your child to be more independent. Show them how to do things for themselves without the help of a grown-up. Give your child the  opportunity to open their milk cartons, go to the restroom on their own, and stick to it. Being independent of their mommy or daddy is very important for a kindergartener as it helps them build their self-confidence and be more confident in their own abilities.    6. Good behavior Model your child’s behavior before they start going to kindergarten. Teach them how to listen to grown-ups without interrupting and how to say please and thank you. Also, teach them how to follow simple directions such as sitting down or taking off their shoes.    7. Social skills Let your child have plenty of unstructured outdoor play. Let them run, skip, jump and play hide- and-seek with other children as much as they want. These activities will help them learn social skills such as sharing, taking turns, problem-solving, communicating and playing with other  kids. Your child will also practice balance, gain strength and find out more about their body's limitations.   Finally, as the start of kindergarten gets closer, start to speak more positively about school. Talk about all the exciting things they will learn, the new friends they will make and how proud you are in their growth and abilities. The first day of kindergarten is a significant milestone for most children and parents. You should start preparing your kid for kindergarten long before kindergarten begins. This will help your child to have a strong start of learning in the year ahead.  Derek Tan writes articles relating to education. Please visit Canadian International School for more information.

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