- Is your child enthusiastic about learning? Is your child eager to explore and discover? Does your child ask questions, take initiative, and persist when tasks are difficult?
You can set aside a little time each day as your running errands, going to the park or even driving somewhere to investigate the world with your child and answer their questions. Strengthen their minds to be inquisitive about what they see and hear.
- Is your child Independent?
Your child should be able to follow one and two-step instructions. Encourage your child at home to take initiative when getting dressed, going to the restroom, or cleaning up after themselves. Chores are a great way to teach responsibility and to get them started by practicing doing things by themselves and understanding the feeling of accomplishment.
- Is your child able to communicate about the world around them, things they read, or have an opinion about something?
It is important that your child have well-developed oral vocabulary skills. When you’re speaking with your child, use descriptive words. If you see something different, discuss what you see and point out things that may be new to them. When you’re having a conversation with your child, see if they are able to communicate with you and stay in the context of your conversation.
- Does your child play well with others?
Help your child understand what it means to share, take turns and problem solve. If something happens at home or with friends that your child doesn’t like, encourage him to come up with possible solutions to solve his problem. Again, this reinforces your child moving from being completely dependent on you to being independent in social situations.
- Is your child able to listen and recall what they heard?
The easiest way to explore this question is to read to your child. Read with expression and excitement so that they will view reading as something fun and interesting. While you’re reading, see if your child is able to sit and demonstrate active listening. After you complete a story, ask your child questions about what you read. You can also ask them inferred questions such as, ‘How does that make you feel?’ or ‘What do you think happened next?’ or ‘Why do you think that happened?’ This will not only help them with comprehension, but also in developing creative thinking.
- Does your child have strong fine-motor skills?
Your child's hands must be strong enough to master coloring, cutting, pasting, and holding a pencil — fine-motor tasks that kids use every day in kindergarten. To increase this skill, have your child practice picking up small items such as Cheerios or beads. Another exercise is to have your child practice writing at home with large and small writing utensils. You can even give your child a spray bottle because this will increase their fine-motor skills and it’s a fun activity they will enjoy.
- Does your child have basic number and letter recognition?
Each child should be able to recognize most letters by sight. They should be able to count to 10, identify numbers 1 to 5, and know some shapes and colors. If your child isn’t able to do these tasks, use flashcards or fun games to reinforce recognition. Be creative in making learning fun and set them up to enjoy Kindergarten!
- Does your child know how to tie their shoes?
Having your child learn to tie their shoes teaches independence. Plus, it's a great fine motor skill and it strengthens fine motor coordination. It is also good for improving hand-eye coordination. Each school day is packed with learning assignments, lessons and reinforcement activities and so teachers have little time to stop and tie shoe laces. Are they going to die without this skill? Probably not, but it is a valuable self-help skill that also builds muscle and eye control needed for writing, so it's a good skill to teach.
- Can your child go the restroom by themselves?
Teachers are not allowed in the student restrooms. A teacher would only enter if there is a problem/emergency at the time that requires them to do so. Kindergarten children should be able to go to the restroom by themselves.
**Ideas taken from scholastic.com