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Getting Ready for Kindergarten

The Purpose of Kindergarten

It’s a pretty common question when you are starting to prepare your preschool child for that first day of kindergarten to ask you, probably with tears in

their eyes, “but daddy or mommy , why do I have to go?” While you may have your parent answers to give you will obviously refocus your childs' attention on how fun it will be and their next step toward “being a smarter kid”. It’s important that mom and dad have a firm understanding of what kindergarten is all about so they can do a great job at preparing their little one for this big step in life.

It's a mistake to see kindergarten as a huge academic leap into the future. When parents pour so much energy into preparing their children to excel academically before heading off to kindergarten, they miss the point of this important year of school. Moreover, by “prepping” the child for school as though this first year was going to be their freshman year at MIT, you create even more stress and anxiety. The child begins to think they are going to walk into a situation of high stress. The result is the child goes off to kindergarten already stressed and far more anxious than is justified for this first step out of the home.

Now this does not mean that preschool is not a good idea. Not only does preschool give the child an early love of learning, it's also an excellent way to help your child begin to acclimate to the idea of going to school out of the home. Learning to go somewhere else and becoming part of an organized curriculum has its' advantages. Preschool gently starts that transition both academically and emotionally.

To a very large extent, the purpose of kindergarten is to help young children begin that transition to a structured environment of school. If by the end of this important first year, kindergarten children come to school happily, knowing how to (i) work with a schedule (ii) sit at desks (iii) listen to speakers (iv) write things down and take them home (v) bring them back again the next day and

(vi) walk through the structured schedule of a normal school day; that's a huge step forward in preparing your child for school life that will begin in first grade.

Yes! there is a curriculum in kindergarten and simple lessons are taught. Very often grades are not recorded or a passing grade is not required. The learning objectives that any kindergarten teacher will have for this year of life with these first year student's are behavioral and social goals.

The kindergarten teacher is a much different kind of teacher than any other your child will meet in his or her academic career. The kindergarten teacher play a major role in helping your child make that transition away from home 6-8 hours of the day and using a significant part of their day at school. Commonly kindergarten teachers have special training in child psychology and are as much counselors and guides as they are teachers of lessons from books.

Get to know the teacher of your child’s kindergarten class. You will find she is eager to know all she can about your child to achieve her goal of preparing each kindergartner for the many academic years to come. If you are in sync with those goals, you can reinforce the experience your child is having with encouragement and interest at home. Working as a team with the teacher will help your child have a wonderful and successful first year in school.

The Basic Skills of Kindergarten

Making Kindergarten Safe

Making Kindergarten Normal

Making Kindergarten Fun

Is your Child Ready for Kindergarten

Health Needs and Kindergarten

Separation Anxiety and Your Kindergartener

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