Tips for starting ‘big school’
(Otherwise known as kindergarten)
My little man is starting kindergarten next year (approx 4 months away), and my ovaries are bursting with pride and sadness.
Pride because he is growing into a beautiful little man who has so many great qualities. Sad because he is growing up too fast.
I’ve been thinking about the difference between preschool and kindergarten and what he will need to learn or know before starting his big school experience.
Here are a few tips that I have come up with.
What tips do you have that makes the transition easier?
– Eat in a timely manner
Currently his preschool provides the meals and they all sit down together to eat. They serve themselves and clear their plates etc which makes getting him ready for preschool just that bit quicker. Big school they need packed lunches and I’m pretty sure the teachers don’t go around telling the children to eat, so therefore he needs to learn to eat his recess in that time frame and his lunch also within the given time frame.
They are need to know how to open and close their lunch boxes including lids and various containers along with snap lock bags and cling wrap if the school they are attending allows. Most schools are now ‘plastic free’ which means only containers with lids etc and no cling wrap or snap lock plastic bags.
– Toilet locks and going alone
At preschool there are no cubicles. They all use the bathroom together, it’s unisex and it’s open. I was recently told to teach him how to lock a cubicle behind himself for privacy. Also being able to undo their own buttons and zippers on pants if need be without an adult assisting.
My little guy is pretty good with not loosing things. Good to the extent that if he can’t find something his owns, he gets worried that he will be in trouble of me for loosing it. Perhaps that’s my downfall with getting him to be responsible for his own things at such an early age? They do need to be responsible for their belongings st school because even though there may be a ‘lost and found’. If a hat is left in the playground, it most likely won’t be handed in or have a teacher do the after school rounds and find all forgotten’ items.
Being able to share toys, pencils and other items. Knowing when to give another a turn, and when it’s their turn without having a tantrum or meltdown. I think most kids by the age of 3 have this down pat, however it is a good skill to polish up on prior to being in a larger group scenario.
– Social Skills
Being able to interact with other children and play together rather than simultaneously. I think social skills is important to know, but again these children are only 4 and 5 years old. Are we expecting too much from them? At what stage should we expect good social skills?
– Alphabet and Numbers
I recently read somewhere that children by the age of 5, should be able to count to 30 and know their alphabet? My 4 year definitely knows his alphabet but can only count to 20-25 without getting the sequence jumbled?
– Name writing
Do they need to be able to write their first and last name? Again my 4 year old can write his first name, and really quite neatly. He jumbled up our surname but it also has 6 letters in it. Is this a priority?
– Listening to instruction
Paying attention to the teachers whomever is speaking. Using listening ears and sitting quietly without being easily distracted or distracting others. Now call me silly or naive, but I would assume that most 4/5 year old can still be easily distracted? My little man can sit quietly, but not for hours on end. He will sit through a movie, start to finish but can also be distracted in a group activity. Does this mean he isn’t ready for kindergarten or will this be something that they work with him on and expect that young ones sometimes get distracted?
Can you add to my list?
Or what do you think is important?