Is your Child Ready for Kindergarten?
Sending your child off to kindergarten can be scary. For many, kindergarten is the first step in a child’s formal education. Even students who have attended preschool may not be used to a structured academic setting. The step up can be daunting. So how do you know if your child is ready to make that leap?
No checklist can fully predict if a child is ready for kindergarten. But experts agree there are several areas that are important for success. Academic ability, particularly in math and reading, is one of the biggest indicators of a child’s future performance. Development of motor skills, social skills, and study skills are also key to a child’s kindergarten readiness.
Unsure if your child is ready for kindergarten? Kumon can help!
Most teachers expect students entering kindergarten to have certain academic skills. For math, this includes counting to ten and understanding numbers. For reading, students should know some sight words, the letters of the alphabet, and letter sounds. In fact, the biggest indicator of future reading ability is phonemic awareness—the ability to identify and use individual sounds in words.
Students develop these skills in the earliest levels of Kumon. In the Kumon Math Program, early learners begin to recognize numbers and learn to count. A child with no math experience might start by learning numbers up to ten, counting along with an assistant. More advanced students may fill in missing numbers in a number line, developing number sense. Each student advances only after they’re comfortable with what they have learned.
In the Kumon Reading Program, students first develop pre-reading skills before they learn to read. For example, by pointing and repeating after an assistant, they learn that we read books from left to right and from top to bottom. As they progress, they learn letter sounds, then letter combinations, building their phonemic awareness.
Kumon can help children develop not only the basic academic skills they will need in kindergarten—it can get them ahead of the game. A student’s progress is based not on their age or grade level, but their ability. Once a student masters a concept, they move onto the next. That means your child can learn more advanced skills like addition before seeing them in school, leading to confidence and success!
Experts often cite fine motor skills as another key factor of kindergarten readiness. This is especially true today, with some kids spending more time on tablets than playing with crayons or LEGOs. Luckily, Kumon has an entire companion program designed to help develop fine motor skills! Early learners enrolled in either the Math or Reading Program can also work on their pencil skills in Kumon’s Level Z. These worksheets help students learn how to hold a pencil correctly, apply the proper amount of pressure, and develop hand strength. As the worksheets progress, students trace more difficult shapes, preparing them to write letters and numbers.
Another concern for students entering kindergarten is how they will adapt socially. Students who didn’t attend preschool may not have had many chances to interact with other children. Although Kumon is an independent program, students still must learn to sit quietly next to their peers. They learn to take turns while working with an assistant and how to respect their neighbor’s space. Kumon Students also learn to follow directions from adults and how to behave in a classroom setting. Perhaps most importantly, they develop independence. Kumon Students, no matter their age, are empowered to follow routines and instructions on their own. This helps develop confidence in their abilities.
Focus and Attention
Kindergarten is becoming increasingly more structured. That means students must sit and pay attention to a teacher for extended periods of time. This should be no problem for Kumon Students, who build their focus and attention as they progress in the program. In Kumon, students work up to focusing for thirty minutes at a time, making the transition to school an easy one.
Set for Success
Kumon can give your children all the skills they need to succeed in kindergarten. From academic ability to social skills, they can enter school prepared. Best of all, they can go to school with confidence. As one Kumon Student proudly told his mom (a Kumon employee,) before entering kindergarten, “All the teachers want me in their class because they know I’m in Kumon!”