8 ways to get ready for kindergarten

This article from the Washington post about kindergarten readiness really got me thinking. I'm a ways away from this myself, but their advice is good for any pre-K kid, I think.

I feel like a lot of people focus on the academic side of kindergarten readiness. As in, how high can they count, and how many words/letters do they know. The article talks about how, while that stuff is great, it's not really getting to the bigger picture. The author says that getting ready for primary school has as much to do with their social/emotional abilities as much as their academic ones. Kid's in kindergarten need to be able to follow instructions, handle their emotions, and interact with other kids in order to learn anything. Basic understanding of numbers, books, and colors are necessary, but the more detailed stuff will be taught in class. That's why you're sending them to kindergarten in the first place.

So what did they say you should do with your almost kindergartener? Here's a summarized list

Make sure they have a sense of community. Have them help out around the house and explain to them why it's important that they do their part.

Teach them empathy and understanding of other people's feelings.

To help with basic science take them to the grocery story and talk about what foods are healthy and why. Maybe even grow something together.

For basic math make sure you count everything you can with them. Stairs, crackers, whatever.

Cultivate an early love of books. They don't have to know how to read, but they should understand the basic alphabet and that you read from left to right.

Test their ability to follow instructions. Kindergarteners need to be able to follow at least 2 step instructions (ex. Go get your shoes and meet me at the door).

Work on fine motor skills by giving them plenty of time to draw and color.

Make sure they have lots of unstructured outdoor play to refine gross motor skills like strength and balance. This will help them keep up on the playground as well as the classroom :)

Overall, I thought this was a great list. It's pretty easy to do too. I think it would certainly help me feel better about getting a child ready for kindergarten.

For all you mamas who've gone through kindergarten with a child or will be soon, do you think this is a good list? Did you/are you doing anything special to get ready for school?

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    06/19/14
    Beth
    I think it's a great list!!! Mason starts kindergarten in the fall and we just went and did his placement testing (who knew they did that!?!) today. I don't totally know what was on the "test" because they took him into another room for about 5-10 minutes, but he said they were asking him to count, identify letters, identify numbers, write his name, and were asking personal questions - birthday, home address, phone number - so I guess all of those would be things to work on as well!
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    06/19/14
    Beth
    Of course, we totally set Mason up for failure on that one - we moved 2 months ago, so I'm going to bet he gave her the old address because he doesn't have the new one completley down... maybe some mixmatched combination of the two ;)
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      06/19/14
      8Theresa Gould
      Good list. I think we've kind of naturally done these things, but with my first I did have a checklist in hand. It was a book actually of milestones she should reach etc.
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      About Taylor
      Current: Chanhassen, Minnesota
      Birth: July 26
      On Moms.com since: Dec 18, 2013
      I'm the proud mama of my daughter Avery, born on June 6, 2013. I'm 26 years old, I work from home as a graphic designer, I will be testing for my 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do in 2015. My husband, Derek, and I have been happily married for 3 years.