Guest Post | Kendra Kielbasa, Smart Beginnings of Greater Prince William
As preschoolers approach school age, parents usually find themselves full of questions. Not the least of which is, “Is my child ready?” We have put together ways to build a solid foundation that will have your child raring to go on that first day of kindergarten:
- Keep your child healthy. Ensure that your child eats healthy foods, gets plenty of sleep and receives routine medical checkups. Before the start of kindergarten, make sure your child has had a recent physical exam and is up to date on immunizations.
- Develop routines. Choose regular times for your child to eat, play and sleep each day. This will help your child know what to expect and what’s expected from him or her.
- Encourage the development of basic skills. Work with your child to help him or her recognize letters, numbers, colors and shapes.
- Read, rhyme and play games with your child. Make reading a daily family activity. Rhyming and playing with your child also are important for his or her development.
- Expose your child to learning experiences. Look for opportunities to broaden your child’s horizons, such as preschool. Take your child to the museum or enroll him or her in community art or science programs.
- Encourage socialization. Promote your child’s social development by signing him or her up for group activities and inviting friends to go on outings. Encourage your child to share, express his or her feelings, practice taking turns, and follow simple directions.
- Talk about kindergarten. Build excitement and lessen anxiety by explaining what your child’s routine might be like in kindergarten. Many schools offer an open house before the school year starts. Make it a priority to attend with your child and show your enthusiasm. If your child’s school doesn’t offer this type of orientation event, call the school to schedule another visit.
Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William (SBGPW) is a public – private partnership working to increase kindergarten readiness in the cities of Manassas, Manassas Park, and Prince William County, Virginia. Our leadership represents members of the business, education, health, social services sectors, working together to deliver efficiencies to bring greater opportunity to our area’s most vulnerable – our children, ages 0- 5. As part of a state-wide network of Smart Beginnings, SBGPW serves with assistance and guidance from Virginia Early Childhood Foundation(VECF). This approach allows local efforts to be individualized, while working in harmony with other communities to achieve results throughout Virginia. SPARK serves as the fiscal agent.