How can I Prepare my Child for Kindergarten?

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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 18 January 2020
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Preparing to send your child to kindergarten is often harder on you than on your child because of the emotional affects brought on by this rite of passage. However, your child will fare better on his first day of kindergarten and all school year long if you help to prepare him.

The academics in kindergarten may surprise you. Children entering into kindergarten should already know their alphabet and be able to identify all 26 letters. They should also be demonstrating some basic phonemic awareness, meaning they should know the sounds that some letters make. They should also be able to identify numbers through ten and be able to count to at least twenty. Their writing skills should be efficient enough that they can write their first and last name legibly, along with most letters of the alphabet.

If your child is not enrolled in a preschool prior to starting kindergarten, you may want to consider the option. Children who attend at least one year of preschool prior to kindergarten often fare better than they would without it. In preschool, children are introduced to a structured learning environment and can practice social and academic skills at the most basic level.


At home, you can help prepare your child by reading to her for at least 15 minutes every day. Reading, coupled with basic number skills like counting and adding, will help your child have a stronger foundation to build on during her kindergarten year. Let your child count with objects she can handle, such as cheerios or M&Ms. Work with your child to manipulate the objects into addition examples. These manipulations allow children to build a visual concept of addition, so they can see how 2 + 3 equals 5.

Upon your child's entrance into kindergarten, you will most likely find that he is as ready as he'll ever be, eager to learn and enjoying his new-found freedom. If you feel you've taken steps to prepare him, be at ease that he will find his own way in his own time. If you have concerns after your child has started kindergarten, bring your concerns to the teacher's attention and work together to deal with them accordingly. Most of all, try to relax and be happy for your child, and let her enjoy experiencing the world of education on her own for the first time.



Discuss this Article

Post 4

This article is adding to the unfortunate fallacy that children need to know their alphabet on entering kindergarten. This is not true, as any kindergarten teacher will tell you. It's nice if children know their letters but it's absolutely not the norm. It is far better for the child if parents wait until the child shows signs that they are ready to learn the alphabet than to push the child into literacy before they are ready.

Post 3

I am a first time parent so this article was great. I had no idea what my child should know before entering kindergarten. My little girl will be two in a few months, and from the books I read she is developmentally sound. She has never been to day care, but I will be enrolling her when she turns two. I have also decided that I will enroll her in preschool. At least now I know what I need to work to before she gets to kindergarten.

Post 2

while i believe that preparing a child academically is extremely important, i think that preparing your child emotionally and socially for kindergarten should be your top priority. i've heard that studies show that kids who start out ahead in preschool when they go into kindergarten don't necessarily retain that advantage much longer then the first year of school. BUT, i really believe that your child can get into a pattern of having trouble at school if he/she is not prepared to face the social and emotional challenges of kindergarten. get them used to learning by making it fun and not a drag!

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