As the time for kindergarten to start nears, many parents help their children prepare by reminding them of academic and behaviors expectations. There are some things that every parent should do before or right at the beginning of kindergarten to minimize stresses for the child and to help them have the most success in the classroom.
Here are some tips to help your child get ready for kindergarten.
1. Make sure vaccinations are up to date.
Most school require a vaccine record. Parents are very good about staying on top of immunizations for babies and toddlers, but it can be hard to remember when the last round of shots happened. This is why it is usually necessary to get a round of booster shots for your child before they head to kindergarten. Not only will your child be protected against deadly diseases, but they will help contribute to the protection of classmates who can't get vaccinated, like those who have auto-immune disease or allergies to vaccines.
2. Test hearing and eyesight.
You want your child to succeed at school, and the first step to success is making sure your child is physically able to do so. Many parents don't realize their child has a sight or hearing problem until formal schooling begins.
Your child might have trouble following directions, hearing his name being called in a noisy classroom, or hearing the bell at recess. Your child might be inattentive during story time, speak too loudly in class, or have little interest in musical activities. It's important that children have hearing testing to make sure they don't need any aids or classroom accommodations. Not all hearing problems are permanent. For example, if your child has a massive buildup of earwax, he or she might not be able to hear well until it is removed.
Trouble with eyesight can also cause trouble. Your child might complain of headaches, squint, or have trouble remembering letters and numbers. Getting a child's eyes tested is just as important as seeing the doctor for yearly check-ups. Not only will your child have better success in the classroom, but they will also be safer while playing on the playground and get into fewer accidents from eyesight at home.
3. Practice fine motor skills.
Fine motor skills are those abilities that allow people to do everyday tasks like spreading butter on toast, writing on a single line, or typing keys on a keyboard. These skills take practice, and many kids get to kindergarten with underdeveloped fine motor skills. Encourage your child to do things like:
- string beads on a piece of yarn.
- use safety scissors to cut paper.
- color with pens and pencils of different shapes and sizes.
- stir and measure food with cups and spoons.
- use a fork and knife.
- sort shapes, roll marbles, and collect rocks.
Your child will improve fine motor skills throughout the school year, but those who come to kindergarten with a good foundation will be more successful with learning.
4. Learn body parts and safety.
Since your child will be exposed to more people, places, and strangers, you can help prepare them for the independence that going to school brings by stressing safety. Make sure you take the time to teach your child all the parts of the body and what they are called, including private areas. This way, if your child is touched or accosted by a stranger or older student, they will have the words to tell what happened more clearly.
Review bus routes with your child. Teach them a plan of what to do in case your child needs help, misses the bus, or loses their way. Walk to route with your child several times. Review all safety plans throughout the school year to cement them firmly in your child's mind. For more information, contact companies like Eartech Hearing & Balance Professionals.