As much as you may think that learning the ABC’s and 123”s is important to know by the time you enter kindergarten, think again! According to research, social skill development is a major factor in determining Kindergarten readiness. It doesn’t matter in the long run if they know all the colors and letters, and can count to 50—most children will develop those skills easily. Whether or not they can get along well in a group situation will be more telling in the long run to their overall success in school.
Learning to use language to solve problems, negotiate and communicate with others is a crucial social skill. Taking turns, waiting for turns and learning to be both patient and assertive (not aggressive!) are skills learned in early childhood. Your child doesn’t have to be the most popular child in her preschool class, or to already have a best friend to do well in kindergarten. But she should be interested in playing with children her own age, demonstrate positive peer group entry behaviors, be able to communicate effectively and control her impulses enough to cooperate and compromise with her peers.
Kindergarten is more structured than preschool. A child can’t just go off to play with the blocks if he has a writing or math assignment to complete. He has to be able to follow directions, move from one activity to another when the teacher says to (not when he feels like it); and work at least part of the time on his own. A child who’s not ready to be independent may have trouble adjusting to the kindergarten routine.
Take your focus off of the academics and help them develop their ”play” competencies, which will be useful throughout their life.
• By sharing play and ideas, your child will learn to interact harmoniously with others.
• By creating a story to tell to other children, your child will learn to communicate using the right words and expressions.
• By observing, exploring and experimenting, your child will gain a better understanding of his world.
• By taking initiatives and accepting responsibility, your child will affirm her personality.
Learning these competencies will raise your child’s self-esteem which in turn will put them on a path to developing habits of success!
If your child needs help in any of these areas, get the help that they need so that their transition into Kindergarten will be more positive for them. There is a beautiful journey ahead!
HAVE FUN WITH YOUR CHILD!
Sunday May 6, 2012: 11 am and 1 Pm Clifford The Big Red Dog!
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