Two questions parents often have regarding kindergarten are: “Is my child ready?” and “How best should we prepare?”
In response to those questions, we have compiled a list of suggestions from the kindergarten teachers, administrators, and admissions committee from Highlands Latin School (The Classical Christian School Northstar is modeled after).
We hope these suggestions are helpful as you prepare to embark on this exciting journey with your child!
Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten:
1. Fine Motor Development – Strengthening hand muscles is important for fine motor skills used in writing and cutting.
Activities that strengthen hand muscles include:
- Kneading play dough and bread dough
- Stringing beads
- Pushing sand
- Lacing (cards, shoes, etc.)
- Using tongs to pick up small items
- Exercising pincer grip by playing with Legos, small cars, doll clothes, etc.
2. Reading Readiness – Children who display signs of reading readiness are most successful in kindergarten.
One of the best ways to cultivate reading readiness is by enjoying quality children’s literature with your child.
Some signs of reading readiness are:
- Recognizes rhyming words (e.g. What rhymes with cat? “fat” or “cow”?)
- Tells the meaning of simple words
- Uses left-to-right progression
- Recognizes some letters by name and sound
- Distinguishes beginning sounds in words
- Demonstrates the ability to listen to a story
- Answers questions about a story
- Writes some letters and numbers
- Counts objects using one-to-one correspondence
- Recognizes numbers 1-10
3. Social and Emotional Development – The classroom setting requires students to be able to function successfully as part of a group.
Some important first steps toward this are:
- Knows full name
- Verbally interacts with others
- Exhibits self-control and a cooperative nature
- Recognizes authority
- Listens to and follows basic instructions
- Gets along and plays with other children
- Can work independently