All children develop skills at different times and ages. Your child may be ready for his first school experience, or he may shy away from new places with new people. The following "Kindergarten Readiness Checklist" and "Ways to Prepare..." will help you to get your child ready to enter kindergarten.
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Be sure to get your child's physical and make sure all of his shots are up to date. It is better to do this about a month before school begins rather than the week he enters school.
Allow him to spend time in a pre-school program. This will help him learn to separate from you. It will also help you prepare yourself for leaving your child in a kindergarten program.
Provide play opportunities with other children. Your child will learn to get along with others and to wait his turn.
Play games that require your child to wait or take turns, such as: "London Bridge" or "Duck, Duck, Goose." Provide a variety of activities during the day - quiet activities such as reading a story and loud activities such as "musical chairs." Let him run, jump, gallop, etc. as well as paint, color and draw.
Provide opportunities for your child to speak up and express ideas.
Allow him to select clothing and to dress himself. You can lay out several pieces of clothing and let him choose what he wants. (Remember it is better to limit the choices of clothing before your child starts to dress rather than have a fuss after your child has finished dressing.)
Let him clean his own room and help with chores around the house. Praise him for his efforts.
In the bathroom, provide a step stool and place things like soap and washcloth in his reach. Make sure he knows how to use the bathroom properly; how to zip, button and pull his clothes up and down, how to use toilet paper, how to flush the toilet and how to wash and dry his hands.
Teach him basic information such as his full name, address, telephone number as well as your full name and where you work.
Take him to visit his school before school starts and talk about the things that happen at school. (Most schools have an Open House or a Visiting Day for kindergarten children who are beginning school.)
Use positive, happy words when talking with your child about starting school.
Continue to read to your child. Let him pretend to read the book back to you. He can tell it in his own words as he holds the book and turns the page.
Be prepared for school entrance by having a completed medical examination form for your child as well as your child's immunization records, birth certificate and social security number.