Principal's Message

I’m Ready for Kindergarten

It might seem a little early to begin thinking about the 2020-2021 school year but in a few short months we will begin screening incoming kindergarteners at each of the elementary schools.  Often, parents are curious and wonder if there child is ready for kindergarten. While it’s ideal for your child to have had some early childhood school experience, there are skills that you can work on with them at home to make sure it’s a smoother transition to kindergarten.

An early exposure to literacy is beneficial to all children.  Being read to on a daily basis and talking about the pictures help develop language skills, reading comprehension, and book handling skills.  Be sure to point out the parts of the book- cover, title page with author and illustrator’s names, and back cover. Work with your child on identifying the letters of the alphabet- in sequence and out of sequence. Students should know the difference between a fiction book (one that is not real and is a story) and a nonfiction or informational text (a book that contains factual information).

When students start kindergarten, they should be able to count to 15 and recognize numbers to 15 out of order.  Practice counting with them on a daily basis and have them count objects you have around the house- buttons, dry beans, cereal pieces-to develop the 1-1 correspondence needed as a foundational skill.  Kindergarteners are also screened to see if they can identify basic shapes: triangle, circle, square, oval, rhombus, rectangle, hexagon, and trapezoid. Students should also recognize the colors purple, white, red, yellow, blue, green, orange, black, brown, and pink.  Colors are all around us so it’s easy to point and practice colors at home and while visiting other places in your everyday life.  

Motor skill development is also important for incoming kindergarteners to practice and master.  Can they put on a jacket and zip it? Are they able to tie their own shoes? These skills help them develop fine and gross motor skills while developing independence.  Being able to handle a pair of scissors and cut paper is another fine motor skill that is encouraged. I was always a bit scared about my own children when they were young to handle scissors but many scissors today are very safe to use under adult supervision.   Does your child recognize their own name-especially their first name and can they write it? This is another important skill and sometimes we have students arrive the first day of kindergarten that have never held a pencil. So practice over the next few months.  

 Kindergarteners benefit from a more positive experience if they are ready socially and behaviorally.  Kindergarteners should be able to use the toilet by themselves and wash hands after going to the restroom.  Kindergarteners will practice manners to be kind to others. They will learn to take turns with their classmates. Students will also learn to listen and follow directions so they can be safe and are ready to learn.

Finally, kindergarteners will have fun, grow academically, and develop lifelong friendships.  Some of my closest friends are the first friends I made in kindergarten many years ago. Our goal is to help all students grow socially and academically while having fun and developing a love for learning.  And when school begins for the 2020-2021 school year, we will be ready for your kindergartener and hopefully they will be ready, too!

Jill Evert