Is your child one in 10,000? This August, about 10,000 Alaska children will enter kindergarten, the beginning of their formal school years. Will your child be one of that group of 10,000? When children enrolled in Imagination Library turn 5, their last book is Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! Many parents send us photos of their child and that rite-of-passage book.
It’s likely that you and your child have been getting ready for his walking through that school door, and that doesn’t necessarily mean teaching him the ABCs or how to count to 100. Being ready includes much more than a few isolated skills.
So, what does being ready for kindergarten mean? We need to look at all the skills and strengths a child has developed over the years – the whole child.
As the parent of a new kindergartner, what can you expect? Here are some things I’ve heard from parents whose children began kindergarten a year or two ago:
- “I was surprised how loud the classroom was!”
- “Developing a relationship with the teacher can take time, even though I was sure she cared.”
- “I loved seeing my child’s progress and how she was learning in stages, building on knowledge and skills with the teacher’s help.”
- “It was fun to see my child form friendships in a new little society, his classroom.”
And parents shared with me their advice about how to spend the summer before kindergarten:
- “Get out, have fun, and play!”
- “Give your child lots of room to practice – meeting new friends at the park, taking turns while playing games, using the toilet independently, and following directions.”
- “Read, read, read with your child, and have back-and-forth conversations.”
When you read, talk, sing, and play with your child every day, she is much more likely to walk into that kindergarten classroom ready to go. And you will be ready, too.