Preparing for Kindergarten: 7 Tips From a Teacher

Tricia Senesac, Lead Kindergarten Teacher at JCDS
Kindergarten is an exciting milestone for children and parents. It is a year filled with exploration, independence, and social growth. Kindergarten is also a year in which academic foundations are built to help foster them throughout the elementary years. Preparation is key when transitioning to Kindergarten. Here are some tips to help you and your child prepare for this challenging time.
  1. Preparation is key when transitioning to Kindergarten. Here are seven tips to help you and your child prepare. Build confidence and persistence. Give your child small tasks that may be just above their ability level. Allow them time to attempt to problem solve and then calmly seek help when necessary.
  2. Practice turn-taking skills. Play games that build patience. Maybe even let them lose every once and a while!
  3. Encourage independence. Give your child chores or other tasks that make them feel like they are contributing. This encourages them to be independent workers and part of a community.
  4. Practice receiving instructions. Incoming kindergarteners should be able to complete 1-2 step directions. Give tasks that require two steps and encourage them to follow through.
  5. Read! Try to set aside 15-20 minutes a day to read to your child. Use this time to point out familiar letters; like the letters in their name, for example. Talk about how characters feel. Compare their answers to how things make them feel. This helps foster a sense of empathy.
  6. Build fine motor skills. Give your child many opportunities to do activities that build hand dexterity such as using play-doh or wiki sticks. Encourage them to make letters with these items. Let them dress themselves, including buttoning and zipping their clothes. This hand strength encourages a good pencil grip.
  7. Play! Allow time for children to engage in fantasy play inside and/or outside. This allows for optimum language development as well as problem-solving and social growth.
A high-quality Kindergarten is one of the best investments you can make in your child’s future. Jacksonville Country Day School understands how important it is to take the time to choose the right fit for your family. Please contact Lori Hall in our Admissions office at 904-641-6644 or lhall@jcds.com if you have any questions about our Kindergarten program. You can also learn more at wwww.jcds.com/page/startat3.

Tricia Senesac is a Lead Teacher in Kindergarten at Jacksonville Country Day School. She holds a BA from the University of North Florida and has over a decade of teaching experience in Pre-K and elementary education.

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Located In Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville Country Day is a Private School for Grades Pre-K - 6. JCDS is dedicated to academic excellence, as well as developing character and healthy lifestyles.