Parents influence their children’s readiness for kindergarten just by interacting with them every day. Parents influence the books their children read, the activities they participate in, the computer games they play and the television shows they watch. According to Scholastic Parents, parents who raise their children to be eager learners increase their likelihood of success in kindergarten.
Parents who keep a ready supply of quality, age-appropriate literature available to their children influence their readiness for kindergarten. Scholastic Parents recommends that parents read to their children every day. Children’s literature expands a child’s growing vocabulary and helps her develop comprehension skills and the attention span necessary to be ready for kindergarten. Parents who talk to their children and answer their questions also increase their children's reading readiness because their children hear and learn many words before they ever reach school.
Parents who provide age-appropriate social interaction help their children prepare for kindergarten. Preschool accomplishes some of this, but exposing children to other social settings also helps them learn the right behaviors at the right times. Parents who schedule play dates with other children, take their children to the theater or restaurants and get them involved in their places of worship broaden their children’s experiences and help them learn to be comfortable in a variety of situations. Journalist Patti Ghezzi for School Family suggests that kindergarten children are finding their way in a world that is expanding rapidly. Parents who guide their child early as they increase their child’s social awareness help prepare him for kindergarten.
Parents who expose their preschool children to technology through age-appropriate learning games increase their readiness for kindergarten. Creating a healthy balance between learning through technology, books, experiences and other resources at home and at the library helps your child get acquainted with things she may find in her kindergarten classroom. According to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Ready to Learn Initiative, curriculum that includes computer games improves early literacy when integrated with strong parental involvement in children ages 4 to 5.
Getting children ready for kindergarten means teaching them to be independent. Parents who consciously teach skills like how to hang up a coat, how to take shoes on and off, how to fasten and unfasten snaps and buttons and how to eat neatly influence how successful their children will be when they are away from them during school hours. Personal hygiene independence, like using a tissue to wipe and blow her nose, flushing the toilet, washing her hands and using a napkin during snack time, will give your child confidence that she can take care of some of her needs without you. According to Scholastic Parent, encouraging self-help and independence is critical for helping your child prepare for school. Children with parents who haven't taught these skills start at a disadvantage because they require more hand-on help from the teacher on simple tasks, leaving less time for instruction and learning.
- National Center for Education Statistics: Readiness for Kingergarten: Parent and Teacher Beliefs
- Scholastic Parents: Ready for Kingergarten
- Education.com: Parent Involvement
- Successful Transition to Kindergarten: The Role of Teachers & Parents
- School-Family: Kindergarten Social Changes: What To Expect
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Findings from Ready to Learn
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images