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When should preparation for kindergarten begin?

It’s that time of year again where the new school year begins, and parents and preschool teachers have a lot to think about. In recent years, research has revealed the importance of early education for children. Although you may not realize it, when your child reaches four years old, this is perfect time to begin thinking about kindergarten.

Many parents and teachers don’t realize that a successful transition to kindergarten is a process which begins a year before your child is due to start, not just a few months prior to the start of the kindergarten year. The transition from early education programs to kindergarten can be an extremely stressful period for both teachers and parents. Therefore, it is important to have the correct tools and resources to help guide your child and yourself, through the process.

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How do you prepare for kindergarten? Well, it doesn’t mean learning kindergarten skills in preschool, rather making sure that children have the preschool skills, such as being able to retell a story or recognizing letters, before they enter kindergarten.

The year before kindergarten is the best time for your child to learn important skills such as, following simple instructions, matching rhyming sounds and tracing letters and numbers on paper.

These skills are essential for future success in school because they provide your child with a strong foundation of prereading and prewriting skills which will help when working on letters and sounds in kindergarten.

Helping to prepare your child for kindergarten also involves preparing them for new social experiences, such as going to school for an entire day or taking turns with other children. After all, for many children kindergarten is their first experience of being in a formal school setting.

It is also important to gradually expose your child to tasks such as holding a pencil or listening to stories in a group setting, as these are skills which kindergartners are expected to have before school begins. Try taking your child a play group or even to the story hour at the local library, by encouraging your child to join in with others will introduce them to new social experiences and ensure that they do better in school and in life.

Another benefit of preparing early for kindergarten, is that you will get to know what activities your child loves, the ones that they struggle with, and even the ones that frustrate them. This essential information can be given to their kindergarten teachers who can help to tailor your child’s experience throughout the year.

Getting your child ready for kindergarten is a process which begins at least a year before they start school. Getting a head start will ensure that your child will have a strong start to the many exciting years of learning that lay ahead of them! There are many useful resources online which will help you get started, and try looking at groups and events in your local community to help make the transition into kindergarten as smooth as possible.

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