Sooner or later, most parents understand that the time has come to send their child to pre-school. And since these days, pre-school resembles the first grade from 20 years ago, we might freak out over how many skills the kid needs to have before going there. Among other things, they have to know how to write their name, count to 20, use pencils, and tie their shoes. It's a huge deal, isn't it?
In fact, parents shouldn't worry too much about it. Yes, the child should have a certain set of skills before pre-school, but it's okay if a few of them aren't 100% honed. After all, teachers are always there to help kids thrive.
But still, as a good parent, you have to ensure that your kid has at least half of the skills listed below.
20 Does Your Kid Know Their Name?
According to Very Well Family, kindergarten kids don't only have to know their first and last name, but they also should be able to introduce themselves, when asked. It means that you need to stop introducing your child instead of them as soon as possible. When they begin to speak, start allowing your little one to overcome their shyness and let them tell their name by themselves.
19 Can They Write It, Too? 'Cause They Should!
When you start teaching your baby to write, Very Well Family recommends beginning with writing their name. As a result of your mutual efforts, your kid will know the correct spelling of their name and arrange the letters in the proper order from left to right. Ideally (but not necessarily), they have to do it with the capital letter in the beginning. Perfect penmanship isn't required, but what they write should at least be readable.
18 If Your Kid Can't Count To 20, They Don't Belong In School
Of course, we don't suggest advanced calculus lessons, but at least your kid should have a general understanding of numbers and math concepts. Orting Schools advises helping them count to 20 by incorporating math into your everyday life. Steps, birds in the sky, coins in your wallet, candies on a table – all these simple things are great for picking up counting skills in your child.
17 They Have To Know The Basics, Like How To Tie Their Shoes
We know that sometimes it's easier to step in and just tie your child's shoes than to wait for them to do it on their own. But, in the long run, it's a bad favor because it doesn't let them learn. For this reason, specialists on Your Modern Family recommends letting them doing it all by themselves.
Yes, failing to tie their shows can be frustrating at first and your child can even cry a bit (or more than a bit), but eventually, they'll make it. And they'll be so proud of themselves!
16 Knowing The Most Important Information Is Essential
We've already covered the importance of knowing the first and last name, but it's not all the basic information your child has to know before pre-school. According to Very Well Family, they should also remember their address and phone number.
How to do it, you might ask. In fact, it's not as hard as it seems. Let your child memorize your address through repetition and try making a simple song with your phone number. It'll make things much easier.
15 "I Have No Idea What I Want"
As per Play to Learn Preschool, your child needs to know how to take care of themselves to the extent that is possible at their age. For example, if they break a pencil while drawing or notice that they didn't get a spoon for their yogurt, they have to know how to raise a hand and speak up to ask for what they need.
Teach your child to be responsible for themselves early on and you'll be happy when you become a parent of a young adult.
14 No Difference Between Various Shapes, Huh?
Specialists on Very Well Family say that by the time they start pre-school, your child needs to know the difference between 2D and 3D shapes. For example, they have to tell a flat paper circle from a ball, or a square from a block. Regularly talk about name shapes and try describing them with the help of everyday objects. Like, pizza is a circle shape, while a brownie is a delicious chocolate block.
It's not necessary to memorize all these names. Understanding the general idea is enough for your kid.
13 Sitting Still Seems Impossible, But It's Not
Children can't sit still for prolonged periods of time. They get bored pretty quickly and always have to run somewhere. But staying still at least for a few minutes is a very important skill. As per the article on Today, "The general rule of thumb is to double a child's age for the number of minutes they should (roughly) be able to sit still."
To practice this skill, play school with your kid, gradually increasing the sitting periods.
12 Why Do They Have To Know The ABC Again?
Remember how you learned the alphabet song to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" when you were a kid? Now it's time for your child to do the same thing. If you like, you can use any other tune, as suggested by Very Well Family. Just make sure that it's going to be easy and memorizable for your kid.
You might be interested in why the tune is needed after all. The reason is simple: it makes it easier for a child to remember the letters.
11 Some Kids Don't Even Know 10 Letters
To practice this skill, start with memorizing the letters of your child's first name. It's going to be interesting for them to learn it because those are not just some random letters – they make up their name and it's so exciting to learn them! Then you can also introduce the letters that your kid can relate to something else they find interesting. Follow the advice of Very Well Family and get a set of magnetic letters or an alphabet puzzle to make things even more exciting.
10 And They Can't Answer Questions About Daily Stuff
Your child should be able to maintain the simple small talk and answer questions about familiar things. These are only some of the examples listed on Life Hacker: "What did you do today?", "What game did you play with your friends?", "Did you like your lunch?", "What did you like the most from our walk?"
When the time comes to somehow complicate the task, ask your child to retell the story you've just read to them.
9 Can't Read A Book? At Least Learn How To Handle It
Let us emphasize again: not "how to read a book", but, at least, "how to handle a book." According to Play to Learn Preschool, it means that your child should know how to locate the book's cover, how to hold it properly, how to turn the pages, and how to find the text. If you read to your child daily, developing this skill will be very easy.
Of course, it isn't the only benefit of reading to your kids. So read to them (and with them) every day.
8 You Can't Use Utensils For Your Kid At School
Although it's easier to eat with your hands, social and cultural norms in the Western world require us to know how to use utensils, so ensure that your child has practiced this skill before pre-school. Very Well Family recommends telling them about the proper usage of spoons and forks and rewarding their successful attempts. Be persistent and your efforts will eventually pay off.
7 And You Can't Go To The Bathroom With Them
Asking their teacher to go to the bathroom with them and then asking them to button their pants can become a huge embarrassment for your child. So to save them from it, it's very important to practice going to the toilet independently and doing everything else that's needed afterward without any help.
So, Play to Learn Preschool says that your child has to know how to wipe themselves, handle their pants, and wash their hands.
6 Handling Stationeries Is A Must
Kids in the pre-school draw, color, cut, and paste a lot, so, as suggested by Your Modern Family, it's important for your child to know how to handle such stationery items as crayons, pencils, scissors, and glue. It won't only make things easier for them, but it'll also turn them into an expert among other kids who don't know how to use these things (there will always be such kids in the group).
5 Your Kid Shouldn't Be A Complete Loner
It's hard for a little child to understand what teamwork is, but it's still important to start explaining this concept to them. According to Life Hacker, you should teach them to wait before playing with something and take turns. Tell them how to work as part of a team while setting the table, cleaning the house, or doing something else. It's easiest to do it if your child has siblings. If not, become a member of their "team" yourself or invite their friends to practice cooperation together. Other parents will be thankful!
4 They Have To Listen To Others
As part of practicing teamwork skills, your child should also know how to listen to others – not only team members but also teachers. Life Hacker suggests that you can help them master this skill by giving your kid fun tasks to deal with. It can be something as easy as "clean up your room", "pick up your toys", or "make both of us a bowl of ice cream". Ensure that while listening to these instructions, your child makes eye contact with you and understands you.
3 Can't They Make Even Simplest Decisions?
Decision-making skills are also important to develop from an early age. With a little child, they should be practiced by playing.
Follow the advice of specialists from Your Modern Family and encourage the kind of play that involves constant decision making. "How should this princess be named?" "How big her castle should be?" "Where should she go to find what she wants?" By asking these questions, you'll boost the creative potential of your child and help them think for themselves.
2 They Won't Always Have Someone To Play With
You don't always have to be there to play with your child. It's actually important for them to learn to play by themselves from time to time because it teaches independence. Besides, as per Life Hacker, even when you do play with your kid, don't always instruct them how to play, showing the "right" way. Give your child a little bit of space. This way, you'll show them that you're confident that they'll succeed and they don't need your help to do it.
1 Separation Anxiety Is A Thing
According to Play to Learn Preschool, it's very common for a child to experience separation anxiety when they only begin pre-school. But you can make it easier by letting your child be a bit more independent. Let them spend more and more time with their friends (without you, at least in their sight) and they'll eventually understand that there's nothing worrisome about staying away from mommy or daddy for some time and will feel comfortable in the kindergarten.
Sources: Orting Schools, Lifehacker, Today, Your Modern Family, Very Well Family, Play to Learn Preschool.