Preparing Your Child For Kindergarten

Penang Straits International School students

Transition to kindergarten is usually a big change for both parents and kids. For the kids, it will be an exciting time of exploration and growth.

During this stage, their sense of independence, self-reliance, and self-confidence starts to develop. To get the best out of your kid, during his/her kindergarten years, look for the best international schools in Penang with top-notch teachers, services, and facilities.

After some time spent in kindergarten, the kids will be expected to work on their assignments with little or no help from the parents. They will learn to accept more responsibility and follow rules closely.

As a parent, this blog post will help prepare you and your child for this exciting, new stage. This post will teach you to support your kid’s mental and educational growth and transition, while at home.

Skills your kid should have at the beginning of kindergarten

Take a look at the list below and see if you need to practise any of these skills with your kid before the first day of school. Keep in mind that the skills listed here are general; and expectations may vary depending on the school’s program.

  • Teach him/her to Identify some letters of the alphabet
  • Teach her how to grip a pencil, crayon, or marker correctly (with the thumb and forefinger supporting the tip)
  • Teach her how to write her first name using upper and lowercase letters
  • Teach her how to count to ten (1 to 10)
  • How to bounce a ball
  • Teach her to classify objects according to their size, shape, and quantity
  • How to speak using complete sentences
  • How to recognize some common sight words, like “stop”
  • Teach her to identify rhyming words
  • Show her how to use scissors, glue, paint, and other art materials
  • Teach her to repeat full name, address, phone number, and birthday
  • Encourage her to play independently or focus on one activity with a friend for up to 10 minutes
  • Show her how to manage bathroom needs
  • Show her how to get dressed
  • Teach her to follow directions
  • How to clean up after herself
  • How to listen to a story without interrupting
  • How to separate from parents easily

If your child hasn’t mastered everything on the list, there’s no need to worry as kids learn a lot in kindergarten – especially if it’s one of the best international schools, such as Straits International School. The most important thing is to wean children from depending on you to do things they could do themselves, like zipping a jacket or tying their shoe lace. Give them the opportunity to grow and learn to do some things for themselves.

Apart from teaching them those skills, you should also prepare them, emotionally, for what can be a big transition. Ease those first-day-of kindergarten anxiety by reading them their favourite book – something they would normally laugh about, or sing their favourite song. It helps put them at ease.

kindergarten kids

Tips for parents to prepare your child to kindergarten

1. Establish bedtime routines

Begin regular bedtime routines a month before she resumes to help ease the kindergarten transition. If you let your child stay up late all through the holiday, it will be a challenge to get them to bed on time when school starts.

2. Establish a morning routine

Practise new morning routine, whether it is walking to the bus stop with your kid, driving to the new school, or walking together to the new classroom. Just to see how much time it will take.
Preparing kids for school in the morning usually takes more time than you think, especially when the unexpected happens, like having to go back for homework, or sneakers for gym.

3. Make a plan for before and after school

Ensure that you and your child know the routine for before and after school care, if there’s any. For instance, where he/she will go or wait, how he/she will get between school and child care, how he/she will get home, etc. Also, have a back-up plan for what to do in case you are running late.

4. Develop a homework routine

Ensure you have a homework space where your child can do kindergarten worksheets and other homework, store papers from school, keep school supplies handy, etc. It doesn’t have to be something big, it could be an individual desk, a place in the kitchen or dining room, etc.

5. Go shopping together for school supplies

While your kid’s kindergarten teacher may provide a list, let your child pick the colours or styles. Every kid loves the feeling of having brand new school supplies when getting ready for kindergarten.

6. Plan a visit to the school

Visit the new classroom or school with your child. It will help make preparing for kindergarten easier for both of you – knowing the kind of environment your kid will be studying in.
Finally, take some time to visit the cafeteria, gym, and playground. If possible, meet with your child’s new kindergarten teacher.