Parents can play a key role in getting their children ready for kindergarten. But how do you know if they’re prepared for kindergarten? What does readiness’ really mean? 

Here are five specific areas where you can assist your child.

Focus on Letters and Sounds points out the importance of identifying letters of the alphabet. They also recommend two books.

My First BOB Books: Alphabet is a set of twelve books—each twelve pages long—that will help pre-kindergartners to identify letters. You can also ask your local librarian for book recommendations that you can check out.

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In addition to recognizing letters, it will help if your child can connect sounds with letters. Ask your librarian for good books on the subject, or consider this series by Scholastic

Plus, you can encourage your child to practice writing his or her first name. Make this process fun, perhaps by encouraging your child to use crayons and write it in all of the rainbow’s colors.

Consider Emotional and Social Readiness

A clinical neuropsychologist at the Child Mind Institute takes a different approach, focusing instead on how well a child can pay attention and manage themselves appropriately. Consider, then, if your child is ready to play with other children, share with them, and participate in the learning process. Can your child sit for the expected amount of time? Can you communicate with the teacher and other students? How well can they listen?

Establish Routines and Answer Questions

John Hopkins Medicine suggests that you create and stick to solid routines for mealtime, bedtime, and reading time to prepare your child for a more structured experience in kindergarten. Also share specifics about what they might expect, including what the schooltime routine will likely be like and what they’ll need to wear, carry in a backpack, and so forth.

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Monitor Levels of Independence and Self Control

The Ohio Department of Education recommends that children know how to tie their own shoes (at least Velcro has come to the rescue in this regard!), put their own coats on, and use the restroom without any need for help. They should know how to keep their hands to themselves and how to use age-appropriate classroom supplies. At home, you can practice having your child follow directions so they can do so in kindergarten, where they’ll receive plenty of them. 

Let Them Experience Time Without You

Calgary’s Child Magazine notes how children should enjoy time in activities without parents getting used to that experience. (This may not have happened as often during COVID if the child hadn’t attended preschool.) 

You can enroll your child in the library’s storytime, or get them into dance or swimming lessons. This will help your child to learn how to take instructions from someone other than a parent. If you’re looking to enroll your child in a quality childcare center, one that provides kindergarten prep, consider one of Horizon Education Centers’ multiple locations throughout Northeast Ohio! 

Horizon Education Centers & Kindergarten Readiness

In our preschool programming, we focus on preparing children for kindergarten. We also provide developmental screenings and assessments. They provide parents with the information they need to decide if their children are ready for kindergarten. Horizon offers both part-time and full-time preschool programs, with some centers offering wrap-around care to help working parents. 

Horizon Education Centers offers childcare in Northeast Ohio. Centers are located in Cuyahoga County and Lorain County.