Kindergarten is an important milestone in every child’s life. Not only is it where they learn many of the basic skills that will provide a foundation for the rest of their educations, they’ll also begin to develop their attitude about school, their view of learning, and their desire to perform well in school. Montessori kindergarten schools will give your child a great start; but in order to ensure the best possible start, you need to give your child the rest of the foundation they need. There are several skills that your child should have before entering kindergarten–but they might not be what you think.
Does your child refuse to respond when you issue simple instructions? Make a major production out of the smallest task? If this sounds like your child, you need to work on following multi-step instructions before kindergarten begins. Even in a Montessori classroom, it’s necessary for your child to follow the teacher’s lead.
Enthusiasm for Learning
If your child has older siblings, they may have been exposed to an endless stream of complaints about school, teachers, and homework. In some cases, this can lead to jaded children who aren’t eager to learn. Reawaken your child’s natural love of learning and encourage the curiosity that is so common in young children. Take time to explore the world they live in. Expose them to museums, zoos, and aquariums, and take time to answer some of their questions. Even teaching your child how to find the critical answers to many of their questions will help encourage that enthusiasm for learning that they will need to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.
Handling Bathroom Tasks
You still think of your child as your baby. Unfortunately, your child’s teacher has a classroom full of somebody’s babies, and they might not have time to effectively manage bathroom trips for every child every time. Make sure your child knows how to put on and remove his or her own pants and underwear, how to wipe, and how to wash hands after a trip to the bathroom.
Dealing With Separation
Does your child still have severe separation anxiety every time the two of you are apart? While a little discomfort on the first couple of mornings at a new school is normal, it’s important to teach your child how to function away from you. Teach your child how to effectively deal with being away from you throughout the school day to help minimize separation anxiety and improve your child’s odds of successfully getting through the day.
Following Rules and Accepting Authority
Montessori classrooms are student-centered areas where the adult is more a facilitator than a lecturer. Because of this, many children may have trouble recognizing the adult as an authority figure and responding to them appropriately. Make sure that your child is able to successfully follow classroom rules and listen to authority figures other than you and your spouse.
For many children, especially only children who didn’t attend preschool, social skills are one of the hardest things to learn. Look for opportunities for your child to interact with other children in the weeks and months leading up to kindergarten. Arrange for play dates with friends, spend time with cousins and other relatives, or go to the park, library, or zoo to find other children to play with. By seeking out opportunities for your child to interact with other children, you will help them build the social skills they’ll need to get through kindergarten.
Sending your child off to kindergarten can be difficult. Whether it’s your first child or your last, you know that first day of school is a huge step of independence. By providing your child with the tools and skills they need, however, you can be sure that they’ll be able to thrive in their new environment. Looking for more information about Montessori Kindergarten? Contact us today to learn more.