Even though we’re enjoying fun summer activities it’s not too early to think about getting your little ones who are attending school for the first time prepped for success. There are lots of ways to build skills at home and many free programs to help. We talked to a long-time kindergarten teacher for tips and rounded up the best local resources to be sure your kids start out on a joyful path to learning.
Teachers Top 15 Tips for a Successful Entry into Kindergarten
If your child masters these practical skills, he or she will have a much easier time and fun time when school starts. Most schools have just one teacher for 20 or more kids so there isn’t enough time to teach the formal lesson plan and give a lot of individual attention to each child. Knowing these skills will make your child much more comfortable and independent in the classroom, a win-win for both them and the teacher. If you have preschoolers, you can start teaching some of the easier skills now (and practicing a lot!) so they’ll be ready when they enter kindergarten next year.
- Child knows first and last name
- Can count to 10, has a sense of quantities
- Can print first name (first letter upper case, rest in lowercase)
- Knows how to share and take turns while playing
- Can use words to express self in a complete sentence
- Can be quiet and actively listen while someone else speaks
- Can sit for 15 minutes while hearing a story
- Knows how to use plastic scissors
- Can tie shoes (or use Velcro closures)
- Can eat neatly by themselves and open a juice box
- Covers mouth when sneezing or coughing
- Know how to go to the bathroom alone
- Can button/unbutton or zip pants after using restroom
- Washes hands after using bathroom
- Knows how to put on and take off their jacket
Chula Vista Public Library offers these award-winning, free programs for kids ages 3 to 5. Kids are introduced to the kindergarten classroom and practice social and motor skills that will help ease the transition to a schoolroom environment. The South Chula Vista Branch, 389 Orange Avenue has its next KinderReadyGo! session July 5 -7 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., then again July 11-14. Parents are asked to register online at www.chulavistalibrary.com or by calling (619) 585-5755. Kindergarten Boot Camp’s week long program at the Civic Center Branch, 365 F Street, are held throughout the year. Call (619) 691-5069 for more information.
Pre-Kindergarten Classes Help Younger Students
Transitional Kindergarten programs are ideal for younger students, those whose 5th birthday falls between September 2 and December 2, 2016, who are not quite ready emotionally or socially for a full school day. These half day programs are conducted for the entire school year, after which kids enter Kindergarten for a full year. Kids develop social and communication skills, and also learn math skills like counting. Kids who attend Transitional Kindergarten enter Kindergarten more confident and are ready to learn in a more structured school environment. Many Chula Vista School District Elementary schools offer this program. Click on this link to see a list of campuses offering Transitional Kindergarten.