This summer, many parents will start helping their 4 and 5-year old children get ready for kindergarten in the fall. It is very common for parents of children who have never been enrolled in a preschool program to be concerned about whether or not their children are prepared to handle the rigors of a Kindergarten classroom. Even parents of children who have successfully completed a pre-Kindergarten program may have doubts about whether or not their children possess the skills necessary to succeed in the fall. Kindergarten is such an important transition for students, whether they’ve completed preschool or not, as it sets the tone for the elementary school years.
As noted in this study published by the National Center for Education Statistics, “Kindergarten is an important transition year for young children. Kindergarten classroom activities typically cover many of the language arts and mathematics concepts and skills that provide important foundations for learning through the elementary school years. Kindergarten teachers play and important role in children’s kindergarten experiences.”
According to survey results published by the U.S. Department of Education, 94 percent of kindergarten teachers surveyed believe that a child’s readiness can be enhanced by providing experiences children need to build important skills. Some of the best ways to get kids ready for kindergarten include reading aloud everyday, doing counting games, and engaging in creative hands-on activities like working with crayons and clay. Exposing young children to a variety of educational activities helps to engage them regardless of their learning style. When parents are excited and take an active interest in their child’s education, the children usually follow in those foot steps.
Effective Kindergarten-readiness programs offer things like readiness tutoring, social and emotional development skills, and motor, cognitive and language skills improvement. Programs like Club Z!’s Let the Learning Begin Kindergarten Readiness Program are designed to target fine and gross motor skills, cognitive skills, and social-emotional skills necessary to ensure a smooth transition into Kindergarten.
“There’s no exact way to tell if a child is ready to start school,” says Cari Diaz of Club Z! Tutoring. “But there are so many things that can help a child get ready. Programs like ours offer children the chance to be imaginative and try to inspire them to get excited about learning. Once they see how fun it is to learn new things each day they will take an active interest in school. And that’s where success begins.”
Developing Kindergarten-Readiness Skills over the Summer
Summer is a perfect time to focus on developing the skills necessary to tackle Kindergarten with ease. The following “Summer Educational Tips” will help transform the break from structured learning into an opportunity for students to sharpen their skills through fun and interactive ways. Here are a few ideas for parents who want to start building Kindergarten readiness this summer:
- Take frequent trips to the library and register your child with a library card. University of Florida’s Richard Allington notes that the best predictor of summer reading loss is a lack of books at home and limited access to library books, so keep a good selection of high interest, level appropriate books around the house. Schedule a consistent “reading time” daily for your child.
- Attend thematic programs at the library. Libraries often host a great variety of summer programs for kids that celebrate reading.
- Talk to your child’s teachers and ask them what your child will be learning next year at school. This way you can tie in family trips with next year’s curriculum to create a more meaningful hands-on experience.
- Give your child a gift card to a bookstore, or give books as gifts.
- Check out audio books from the library for your child to listen to stories in the car.
- Consider Summer Tutoring: Tutoring services, such as Club Z! In-home Tutoring, can help children catch up or get ahead with one-on-one tutoring in the home. Take advantage of the summer months to remediate or accelerate your child in areas like reading comprehension, mathematics, and writing. For older children and siblings, Club Z! offers programs in SAT/ACT test prep and study skills (with an emphasis on note-taking strategies, reading comprehension skills & prioritizing deadlines) that will help your child start the school year off right.
- Research has revealed a direct connection between learning to play a musical instrument and an increased aptitude in mathematics. Consider introducing your child to music lessons over the summer.
Unlike traditional learning centers, which can be located far away from one’s home, in-home tutoring programs bring qualified instructors directly to your house, around your busy summer schedule. Summer tutoring with an in-home tutor can enable students to master benchmarks necessary for passing state reading, writing and math standardized tests and allow kids to explore and develop the skill areas they find interesting, such as art, music and foreign languages.
With the right program and tutor, summer tutoring CAN be a fun and enjoyable experience! By focusing on fun-filled educational activities during the summer months, your child can develop the skills necessary for a successful transition to Kindergarten in the fall.