Sending your child to Kindergarten is a significant milestone. So many emotions will fill your heart as you prepare your little one for the start of their academic journey. For instance, the excitement that comes with knowing your child will learn how to read and write might be tempered with the concern of “is my child ready for Kindergarten?” We understand that sometimes the concerns can outweigh the excitement, but because we want you and your child to feel confident about the first day of Kindergarten, we have 10 key ways you can help your child get ready for school that goes beyond basic letter and number recognition.
Confident Oral Communication. The number one activity you can do with your child is read to them. There is no limit to reading! Also, have constant conversations with your child about everything. This includes narrating their day, discussing directions and street signs while driving and answering all of their questions.
Active Listening. Reading to your child and having them recount the story is a great way to encourage active listening. Also, play games that encourage listening to one another.
Follow Multi-Step Directions. Again, daily reading and recounting a story helps them follow along to instructions — furthermore, practice following multi-step directions with your children.
Fine Motor Development. Fine motor skills help not only a child’s handwriting, but also their reading. Research shows a direct link between fine motor skills and cognition and language development.
Proper Pencil Grip. Practice proper pencil grip before your child starts school.
Large Motor Development. Encourage your child to play and run outside as often as possible. Being outdoors is vital for a child and provides the space a child needs to exercise their whole body.
Imaginative Play. Limit screen time to little or no time at all. Encourage your child to play creatively and imaginatively.
Healthy View on Discipline. “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. When administered in love, discipline should always point the child to the heart of their Heavenly Father. We want our children to learn how to obey all forms of authority, so they will, in turn, readily obey God.
Self-Care. To promote independence and confidence in your child, ensure your child knows how to take care of all of their bathroom needs, including proper handwashing and toilet hygiene.
Social Graces. Teaching your child good manners, social etiquette, and respect for others will naturally help them perform well in the classroom. Learning these good habits will also give your child the tools they need to build positive and respectful relationships. Some examples include: instructing your child not to interrupt, saying “excuse me” to gain attention or when bumping into someone, greeting and saying “goodbye” when meeting or leaving someone, or knocking on closed doors.
It says in Luke 2:52, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Jesus is our best example of growing from child to adult in a way that is good and pleasing to God. Because we aim to be like Christ in all ways, we believe in training children early in godly wisdom and character. At Donum Dei Classical Academy, our goal is to develop the whole child. So while your child will enjoy many academic achievements, they will also grow in character, and have fun, too!