How to know if my child is ready for kindergarten? Communication and Social Skills
Is your child starting to show signs of being ready for kindergarten? Has that been a question on your mind? Here are some pointers that might help you determine if they will be ready to start school in the fall. Is your child able to direct their attention for a while without too much fussing and need for frequent activity or entertainment? If so, they may be more prepared than you think! It is also essential that children have some understanding of the alphabet and how sounds work. Below are some communication and social skills tips that can help your children be ready for school.
Focus and Pay Attention
Does your child like to play independently with certain toys, or does he need constant supervision and stimulation to maintain a high activity level? Your child needs to be able to direct their attention for some unstructured time without alarming you. If they can focus, then they may be ready! If your child is in early intervention or therapy, they may be taught to focus on different activities.
It will help them gain the skills they need for kindergarten. You can also use tools at home that will help your children learn these skills, such as timers and calendars. You can use these tools yourself, but let them see you using them as well.
Control Impulses and Emotions
You can also help your child learn to control their impulses and emotions by practicing with them. Imagine you are standing on a curb with a street in front of you. You are holding a ball, and you want to throw the ball across the street. If you have been able to teach your child some impulse control and self-control, they might stop themselves from throwing the ball before they even see if there is anyone in the way. You can then talk about waiting until it is safe to throw the ball.
Many people mistakenly teach their children to take turns too early, but this can become counterproductive. It is much easier for a child to learn how to share when they are toddlers. They are more mobile, and mobile objects are not so appealing yet. However, if your child has learned to take turns at a young age, it may hurt their ability to share! That being said, you still want to encourage them to take turns. You can do this by giving your child opportunities that require turn-taking even before being taught the concept of taking turns.
Cooperate and Follow Directions
You can also teach your child to cooperate and follow directions. For example, if you want your child to put their toys away in a toy box, they may throw them around and ignore you. If you are giving directions to your child, make sure that they are listening and following through by using eye contact, gestures, and verbal cues. Your child is more likely to turn the spoon over when holding it if they have been trained in the importance of doing so.
You can also help your child by encouraging them to play with peers and siblings. You should also make sure to get them involved in extracurricular activities outside of the home. If they like sports, then sign them up for soccer or t-ball. If they are drawn to music and singing, take them to a music class or sign them up for theater. When your child gets a chance to be around other people, you can increase their chances of making it in school by modeling social skills, such as sharing and asking questions about others.
Empathize with Others
You should also help your child empathize with others. There are many games and techniques that you can use at home to help your child develop empathy. All you have to do is ask them questions about the feelings of others and then try to put themselves in their shoes.
Kindergarten readiness is a learned skill based on the child’s ability to focus, pay attention, control impulses, and cooperate. If your child exhibits the above behaviors, then they are more likely to be ready for school. The earlier you can get them started in school, the better!