What Your Preschooler Should Know Before Kindergarten
Before your little one enters their first elementary school classroom, it’s important to feel that they are ready for the next step in their education. Whether they attended in-person preschool/pre-k or homeschool preschool or homeschool pre-k, assessing your child’s skills around the summer before they start kindergarten is a great time to see where they are at: their strengths, as well as areas they might not feel as confident. You can then help them focus on those more challenging subjects during homeschool preschool and homeschool pre-k so they can feel as ready as possible. Determining whether or not your child is prepared for kindergarten can be tricky, as there is no true criteria for kindergarten readiness other than being kindergarten-aged. However, feeling ready is still important! Below you will find the skills your little one should have upon starting their kindergarten school year.
Letter and Sound Recognition
Knowing their ABC’s is one of the most important skills your little one can walk in with. Recognizing letters and their sounds early on will only benefit them as they eventually learn to read. The Alphabet Song is your best tool, along with toys, puzzles, any activity that has them working with the alphabet’s letters and sounds.
If your little one is struggling with language and/or communication skills, encourage them to use their words to tell you what they need. Some examples include: “Can you say ‘may I have some help, please?’” “If you’re done, you can say ‘I’m all done.’” This will also benefit them in the classroom when communicating with teachers and other students.
Click HERE to download our FREE preschool worksheets for Letter and Sound Recognition. Simply have your child cut out the letters on one page using child-safe scissors, and match them to the other page.
Colors and Shapes
One of the first facts your little one will learn about themselves is their favorite color. They most likely know the favorite colors of a lot of people in their life. Asking your little one throughout the day what color different objects are is a great way to practice this recognition every day. Preschool worksheets that consist of color matching are also helpful tools in developing these skills, as well as preschool activities such as this DIY Rainbow Dot Color Match project.
Help your little one practice holding pencils with a proper grip to help develop their fine motor skills. Tracing shapes and letters is a great practice that can be done at home. If you choose homeschool preschool, Playgarden Online offers preschool worksheets that help your little one identify shapes and colors, as well as practice tracing basic shapes.
Knowing Basic Identification About Themselves
In case of an emergency, your little one needs to know basic information about themselves.
By 5 years old, your little one should be able to tell someone their:
- First and last names
- Home address
- Parents’ first and last names
- At least one parent phone number
These facts make them feel empowered. They love knowing where “home” is in relation to where they are. Having this sense of self can also help your little one feel a part of the world around them.
In addition, general self-care skills are ideal to have before kindergarten—getting dressed on their own, using the restroom, washing hands, etc.
Kindergarten and Beyond
Ensuring that children feel valued by the adults in their lives is essential to kindergarten readiness, and more importantly to their overall education. Helping your child be as prepared for school as possible, whether in-person or at-home, is one of the best ways to show them how much you value them and their bright future.
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Hi, I'm Miss Julia!
Miss Julia has been an early childhood educator for 5 years, with over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She has been teaching at Playgarden Prep since 2017, and is happy to share ideas on some of her favorite early education topics with you! Miss Julia has a BA from UC Irvine, and uses her experience in performing arts to inspire little ones every day in her enrichment classes at Playgarden. In her free time, Miss Julia loves enjoying nature, cooking, and creating with friends.