Are you sending your little one off to kindergarten soon? Keep reading to learn all about kindergarten readiness and ways you can prepare them at home. You can also check out my Kindergarten Readiness eBook for a printable version of this information.
READY OR NOT, KINDERGARTEN IS COMING!
Thinking about kindergarten readiness can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you’re sending your oldest child off to kindergarten for the first time.
One minute you’re holding your newborn baby and soaking in all those cuddles, and the next minute you’re googling “kindergarten readiness” and trying not to panic at the thought of letting your sweet baby go.
How did that happen?!
It’s true that time speeds up when you’re a parent, but ready or not, kindergarten is coming!
If you’re wondering what skills your child needs to master before the first day of school, or what you can do at home to prepare them, keep reading!
This KINDERGARTEN READINESS BLOG SERIES will cover everything you need to know to help your child have a seamless transition to kindergarten, both academically AND socially.
As a preschool teacher and mom of 2, I’ve been on both sides of the transition to kindergarten, and I’m here to help!
I know the skills teachers would love students to have AND I’ve lived through the experience of sending my daughter off to kindergarten. I’m here to guide you through this journey so you and your little one have an amazing experience!
But before we dive in, let’s see what the research tells us about the importance of being prepared for kindergarten.
WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY?
There’s overwhelming evidence that shows kids who enter kindergarten behind are likely to remain behind throughout school (and beyond).
Here are a few stats that show just how important early childhood education is:
- Researchers estimate that 80% of brain development is complete by age 3 and 90% is complete by age 5. That means 90% of brain development occurs BEFORE kindergarten. (Source)
- It’s also estimated that 40% of students entering kindergarten are behind (and since 4 million students enter kindergarten each year, that’s A LOT of students). (Source)
- According to the First Five Years Fund, there’s an 82% chance a child will master basic skills by age 11 when they enter kindergarten ready for school, as opposed to a 45% chance for kids who are not ready when they enter. (Source)
- And one last one that is especially heartbreaking…66% of 4th graders can’t read proficiently. (Source)
These learning gaps are hard to close and usually require lots of money (through private tutoring or money schools pay for interventionists) and lots of time, which means many kids will never successfully close them.
Have you heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?”
That is 100% true when it comes to kindergarten readiness.
WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN?
Now does that mean your child needs to be reading chapter books or solving 3-digit subtraction problems to be “kindergarten ready?”
Should you be drilling them with alphabet flashcards and addition worksheets seven nights a week?
Of course not!
I believe kids learn best through hands-on, multi-sensory, PLAYful activities. That’s how I teach my virtual preschool students and my own kids at home.
I also believe kindergarten readiness is not an “either-or situation.” It’s not “either I focus on academics OR I focus on social skills.”
It’s an “and” situation. We should focus on academics AND social-emotional growth in order to send our kids off to kindergarten feeling confident and prepared.
And one more thing…As preschool parents and teachers, we should do everything we can to make the transition to kindergarten as smooth as possible in order to support our kindergarten teachers.
Kindergarten teachers are amazing educators with classes of 20-30 (or more!) 5 year olds who come in at ALL different levels.
They are managing behaviors, academic standards, and social-emotional issues, and they often do this by themselves because many schools don’t have assistant teachers or aids.
Let’s do all we can to prepare our little ones for kindergarten to help support these heroes of education! They deserve that commitment from us.
SO WHERE SHOULD WE START?
When I think about kindergarten readiness, the first thing I think about is the end of pre-k.
Where do we want our kids to be when they finish up pre-k so they enter kindergarten prepared & ready to learn?
In order to answer that question, I look at the Pre-K Exit Goals to see what kids should know & be able to do when they leave pre-k and enter kindergarten.
These goals, based on the Arizona Early Learning Standards, show what skills we want preschoolers to work towards in the following areas:
- Language & Literacy
- Social Studies
- Physical Development
- Social Development
- Approaches to Learning
KINDERGARTEN READINESS TOPICS
Here are the areas we’re focusing on for the purposes of this blog series. Click on each topic to head to that blog post:
- LANGUAGE & LITERACY
- Being prepared for kindergarten goes WAY beyond the ABCs.
- Counting, patterns, and shapes, oh my! Math readiness has many components.
- How well does your child know themselves and relate to others?
- APPROACHES TO LEARNING
- The magic formula for raising a lifelong learner.
- PARENT READINESS
- Your child isn’t the only one who needs to be ready for the big day! What do YOU need to know & be able to do before kindergarten?
KINDERGARTEN READINESS E-BOOK
Would you rather have this information as a PDF download so you don’t have to navigate to all the different pages on my website? Check out my Kindergarten Readiness eBook and save yourself time!
LET’S PREPARE FOR KINDERGARTEN TOGETHER!
Kindergarten is the most special year of elementary school, and it’ll fly by in the blink of an eye!
Preparation is key, but don’t forget to enjoy this year and the memories your little one will make.
After all, “All I really need to know, I learned in kindergarten.” -Robert Fulghum
Do you have any tips for parents sending their little ones off to kindergarten? Comment below or head over to Instagram [@littleslovelearningblog] and share there!