by Carolyn Alder
Kindergarten registration is now open for the 2021-2022 school year.
While parents start helping their children with learning letters, numbers and preprinting, early interventionist with Point in Time, Tiffany Jones, offered some suggestions to help get your child ready for kindergarten with skills one might not think of.
“The things we can do to help prepare them for kindergarten can be done throughout our everyday life,” Jones said. “It can be fun and enjoyable and the kids don’t even know that you are teaching them skills.”
One of the more important goals to work on, according to Jones, is for new students to recognize their name.
“Their name is going to be on their desk, their belongings and their work. So being able to recognize their name will help when gathering up their belongings.”
One way to encourage name recognition and spelling is to have your child’s name printed at eye level on their bedroom door and go over the letters every night before bed.
Other skills for children to practice are packing and unpacking their backpack, putting shoes on and taking them off, putting their coat on by themselves and zipping it up, and washing their hands.
Jones encourages parents to remember they are already teaching their children when it comes to self help.
“Self help is a little bit extra but a lot of it is things that parents are already doing in their everyday life, with their children that their children are naturally learning through seeing siblings or parents do, that the skills are already starting but maybe need some more practice.”
Archie Stouffer Elementary School kindergarten teacher, Bonnie Tokar, said a child’s nature is also important.
“Establishing important character traits such as being motivated, patient, kind and respectful are of utmost importance. Academic skills come much easier when students adhere to these positive character traits.”
Jones advises to not lose sleep if you feel your child isn’t ready compared to other children their age.
“Try not to stress about it because your child is going to learn these skills in school. Teachers, early childhood educators and their peers will help teach them. However, if you feel they are struggling or aren’t picking it up as they should be, have a conversation with the school so the teachers can be aware and give more help.”
Parents can also call Point in Time at 705- 457-5345 for more support.
Point in Time also has video tips on how to help your child get ready for kindergarten on their Facebook page.
Kindergarten registration closes at the end of February