Readiness for kindergarten is something you must help the child with in preparing her for school. It is a very common scene to see your cheerful bubbly child crying and wailing on her first day in kindergarten. The kindergarten surroundings are strange to her and may instil a sense of insecurity in her. This may also be the first time she is away from home for an extended duration. However, you can help her overcome this insecure feeling and enjoy going to school.
Tips for Developing Kindergarten Readiness in Your Child
- Help your child to get started with the art of socializing. Making her understand the importance of sharing and taking turns is a great starter. You can consider putting her in a play school before she starts attending kindergarten.
- Get her used to being taken care of by other family members such as grandparents or other relatives and friends. You can start this by leaving your child in their company for short intervals, such as when you go shopping.
- Talk to your child about kindergarten and explain why it is important for her to go to a kindergarten. Tell her what fun activities she will be involved in and for how long she will be away from home.
- Initially visit the kindergarten without your child. Make a few consecutive visits with your child to see how comfortable she is in the environment. This also gives you a chance to observe how the teachers interact with your child.
- You can call your child's friends over and play the school game at home. You can simulate the teacher-student environment. If you know the kindergarten schedule, you can follow the same routine to prepare your child for kindergarten. Use this as an opportunity to teach your child some fundamental things that will be taught in kindergarten. This enhances her learning skills.
- Read out stories about kindergarten to your child. This helps her in getting an idea of what she can expect in a kindergarten.
- Make sure that your child does not have to rush to kindergarten every day. Wake her up early enough in the morning, to get ready ahead of time.
- At the end of each day in kindergarten, talk to her about the day's happenings. This will motivate her to narrate the day's incidents and look forward to another fun day the next day.
- Teach your child to pay attention to what the teacher says and act accordingly.
- Make your child understand that throwing things about in the classroom is not correct.
- Allow your child to carry her favourite toy with her to kindergarten. You can keep this in her bag along with her other belongings. This gives her a secure feeling. You might want to keep a duplicate at home in case it gets lost though.
- If your child has still not got used to potty training and has wet underwear occasionally, talk to her teacher. Most teachers will not mind this and do not care about an occasional accident. In fact, they may give your child gentle reminders to go to the toilet. You can pack an extra set of clothes and underwear in your child's bag.
- Give your child one of your belongings such as a kerchief to bring along with her to kindergarten. A photo of yourself might help too.
- Find out if the kindergarten expects your child to feed herself. If so, start encouraging her to do so before she joins kindergarten.
- Do not display an anxious or worried expression when you drop your child in kindergarten. She may sense your worry and get upset.
- If the kindergarten allows you to stay, you can remain with her for a little while before you take leave in the early days.
- Make your child eat a wholesome breakfast before she leaves for school. This is her main source of nutrition for the day. During school hours, she may be eating just a few snacks such as biscuits that you send with her.
- When you drop your child in her classroom, give her a hug and a kiss. Assure her that you will be back soon. Keep the good byes short.
- Always arrive on time to pick her up. This will eliminate her fear of you not coming to take her with you.
- When you go to pick up your child after her kindergarten hours, spend some time with her in the classroom. You can use this time asking her to show you her friends. This will make her more confident about going to kindergarten.
You can leave your contact number with her teacher in case they want to contact you. Although, you may find the initial separation from your child an agony, remember that the kindergarten is one of the first steps towards her fine grooming. This will greatly benefit her in the later years. And do remember not to shout at her when she shows reluctance towards kindergarten readiness.