Summer isn’t over quite yet, but parents and kids alike have begun looking forward to (or possibly dreading) the start of the new school year. Children who are about to enter kindergarten are gearing up to take a big step by beginning their schooling. This major transition can cause both anxiety and excitement. Soon they’ll meet new classmates, follow a different daily schedule, and work on building the skills that will serve as a starting point for their academic careers.
August happens to be Get Ready for Kindergarten Month, and it’s prime time to make preparations if your child is about to enter kindergarten this fall. If you’re worried about whether your son or daughter is ready to take this big step, here are some key indicators and abilities you should look for and evaluate.
What to Consider When Preparing for Kindergarten
For parents who want to ensure their kids are ready for kindergarten, here are some signs that your son or daughter is in the right spot developmentally to get off to a good start.
1. They can hold a pencil correctly. By the time they enter kindergarten, children should demonstrate basic fine motor skills like gripping a pencil/pen/marker and using scissors, according to a PBS Q&A with Ann Barbour, a professor of early childhood education.
Parents can help their kids hone fine motor skills by giving them crayons and paper and opportunities to draw and practice writing numbers and letters, according to the article “8 ways to get your kid ready for kindergarten (it’s not what you think)” from The Washington Post. Children who have problems related to fine motor skills can benefit from pediatric occupational therapy to assist them in reaching developmental milestones and doing their best at school.
2. They can run, jump and play without issues. In addition to fine motor skills like using scissors, kids should also have fairly strong gross motor skills by the time they start school, the Post states. Your child should have the strength and balance to run around on the playground with their classmates. For kids who have trouble with gross motor skills, pediatric physical therapy can help them reach their peak functional level and participate in daily activities.
3. They can speak clearly and in complete sentences. Children need to be able to express themselves and communicate with teachers and other kids in kindergarten. Good speech and language skills are essential if you want your child to thrive both socially and academically. If they have difficulty speaking clearly, pediatric speech therapy can improve their ability to express their needs and wants.
These are just some of the capabilities and skills that kids must have to succeed in kindergarten. If you’d like to learn more about getting your child ready to start school and how pediatric therapy services can help with any issues, contact us today by calling 847-707-6744 or emailing [email protected]. We also offer a preschool readiness program to assist younger children in reaching key developmental milestones and getting the socialization they need to thrive in a classroom setting.