what your child needs to know for kindergartenStarting kindergarten is an important transition for your child and it’s important that you prepare your preschooler so that he or she can be successful. So, we at Horizon created an e-book titled Guiding the Way to Kindergarten: A Parents’ Guide to Helping Improve, Maintain & Support Children’s Literacy Skills that you can download for free.

We encourage you to download the e-book. In the meantime, here are some highlights.

In this publication, we share different reading styles and we suggest that you rotate them with your child so you can see what works best for him or her. Take a look at the styles we listed and see how your child responds.

We also included ten steps to becoming a good reader; here are the first three:

1. Be consistent. Have a designated reading time each night that lasts a minimum of 15-20 minutes.

2. Be a reading model – actions will speak volumes. When your child sees you reading, this will inspire him or her to read, as well.

3. Eliminate distractions.Television, phones and gaming systems are huge distractions for kids, so turn them off for reading time.

When you download the e-book, you’ll find the five steps to choosing just the right book for your child, along with recommended books for pre-k children, as well as children in kindergarten through 3rd grade.

We list ten writing activities that are fun for children and will include three of them here (download for the rest!):

  • Encourage your child to keep a personal journal where he or she can write about the day.
  • During shared reading, read part of the story, and then stop to have your child write down what he or she thinks will happen next.
  • Help your child get a pen pal for a letter exchange.

In the e-book, you’ll also find local library programs that your children will enjoy, along with educational trips to take and fun literary resources and references that will help you on your quest to appropriately prepare your child for kindergarten.

From around the web

Scholastic.com provides a great list of skills that would be good for your child to know, pre-kindergarten (with this reassuring caveat: Don’t panic if your child hasn’t nailed everything on the list – she’ll learn a lot in kindergarten. What’s more important is to wean her from relying on you to do things she could do herself, such as zipping her jacket or tying her shoes. Give her the chance to show you what she can do for herself – you might be in for a few surprises!).

There are also lists of what you can expect your child to learn during kindergarten, in language arts, math and more.

Plus, PBS shares an article where they list skills that are “non-academic” yet still crucial for children’s ability to learn. Here are a couple of them:

  • Playing well with others, relating positively to adults, and using language to express needs and wants
  • Self-regulation skills (for example, controlling impulses, paying attention, following directions, handling frustrations, and negotiating solutions to problems)

The article also discusses ways that you can help your child to develop those skill sets, from talking together often and responding to his/her questions to playing guessing games, going places together and talking about your surroundings and more.

Finally, Education.com reveals ten readiness secrets, ones “teachers really want your child to know on the first day of kindergarten.”

Horizon Education Centers provides affordable quality child care that includes educational and enrichment opportunities that will help prepare your child for kindergarten. Contact us at one of the following Northeast Ohio locations.