Ready or Not, Here We Come to Kindergarten!
For many parents, leaving preschool is mixed with feelings of excitement to see their child move on to kindergarten. For some, there is also anxiety. Parents are not sure what to expect and often find themselves questioning their child’s readiness. Is my child ready for kindergarten in Michigan?
This is a major concern for many pre-kindergarten parents. The urgency to get children learning the alphabet and counting to 100 is more widespread than ever. We have somehow forgotten the value in children learning how to articulate their thoughts, express their feelings with confidence, and regulate their own behavior. The ability to problem-solve, and interact with other children and adults are also critically important to success in school.
Yes, academics are important. To prepare for kindergarten, children need to be supported and nurtured in all areas of development. Being ready for kindergarten means having a balance of preschool skills which includes being academically, socially, emotionally, and physically ready for the transition. So rather than focus on skill and drill activities, celebrate your child’s current development. Turn your efforts to the skills your preschooler will use for a lifetime. Remember, early childhood builds a foundation for life-long learning. Preschool gets children ready to learn.
This summer, continue to work on skills such as: learning to think and reason, empathizing, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and play. Also, read books about kindergarten, talk to your child about kindergarten, and visit school playgrounds to become familiar with the new environment. The Michigan Department of Education provides guides for families with children entering Kindergarten. We wish you and your young learners well!
Guest Writer: Tykese Douglas, Early Childhood Consultant at Wayne RESA GSRP