Warm summer days and September have quickly come and gone, leaving us with crisp fall weather and back-to-school activities. Now that you and your family have settled into the back-to-school and extracurricular routine, it’s time to begin thinking about getting ready for kindergarten and next steps!
It is never too early to begin considering kindergarten readiness, especially for our pre-kindergarten children. Kindergarten is an exciting journey for you and your family. Once entered in a kindergarten program, students will have opportunities to discover themselves, grow intellectually, improve motor coordination, increase independence, as well as be given the opportunity to develop mentally and emotionally.
With kindergarten being the foundational building block of your child’s social, intellectual and emotional learning, it’s important to prepare your child for the year ahead.
Expected Skills and Development
There are some skills that your child will be expected to have some or complete mastery of when entering kindergarten. Depending on the program, there are different levels of readiness expected and considered within the admissions process.
There are several areas that schools look at to evaluate academic readiness for children entering kindergarten. Here at Oak Knoll, we evaluate kindergarten academic skills utilizing a few separate methodologies to ensure we are capturing the strengths of your child.
The AABL: Admission Assessment for Beginner Learners, is a cutting-edge online examination that we proctor to our applicants applying into kindergarten and grade 1. Using an iPad, students will answer a series of questions so we can gain insight on their reasoning and achievement potential. Oak Knoll supports testing with the AABL because it highlights the student’s strengths. Please keep in mind the test is only one component of the admissions process, not the defining pillar.
Teacher recommendations are an invaluable resource to a school when evaluating the academic and social readiness of a child. A few areas that can be evaluated when considering kindergarten preparedness are: the ability to follow directions, listening skills, social skills, clear communication, memory and retention of skills, and the student’s fine and gross motor skills.
If you’re looking to strengthen your child’s academic readiness, consider having your child work on the following:
- Practice gripping a pencil or crayon correctly
- Counting to ten
- Have your child write their name using Upper and Lowercase letters (if possible!)
- Work on identifying some letters of the alphabet
- Encourage your child to speak in complete sentences
Kindergarten is a big transition for you and your family. It is not uncommon for your child to have “first day of school” jitters. In order to prepare your child for the transition, we encourage you to integrate books about starting kindergarten into your reading routine. Reading with your child gives you the opportunity to address any nervousness, as well as prepare them for what they will expect. While there are numerous books that address this, below are a few that should be considered when expanding your library.
- The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
- Clifford Goes to Kindergarten by Norman Bridwell
- The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
- Kindergarten, Here I Come! By D.J. Steinberg