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How to Get Your Child Ready for Kindergarten 
 
by Jennifer Lovvorn Parker May 20, 2005

Personal Readiness (Or, What to Wear):

Think carefully about how you dress your child for school. Of course you want your child to look cute and stylish, but there are a few considerations that supercede style:

  • Can she go to the bathroom without help in those clothes? For instance, overalls can be very difficult to get on and off, or a little girl not used to a dress might drop it in the toilet. This can be very upsetting to a child, but is easily avoided.
  • Can he tie those shoes? Tying can be difficult to master. It is something to work on throughout the kindergarten year, but in the meantime, save the teacher from having to do it all day long and buy velcro.
  • Will your child be comfortable playing? There will probably be recess time. If your child raises her arms way up to climb up the monkey bars, is half her belly showing? Do his pants fall down? Can she do a cartwheel without flashing the rest of her class?
  • Consider a light jacket. Even in the hot months, a classroom can be cold. But be sure to clearly label the inside of the jacket with your child’s name. Kids are notorious for leaving their things all over the place.

Make School Important

Show your child that school is a priority for your family. Here are some ways you can teach your child the importance of education:

  • Always arrive on time in the morning.
  • Volunteer; even if it’s only a few times, your child will love having you there.
  • Join the PTA.
  • Attend parent/teacher conferences.
  • Check her backpack each night for homework or notes from the teacher.

Teachable Moments

Finally, find teachable moments outside of school. This means that if your child is interested in a billboard, read it together. If he seems interested in cooking with you, let him help you measure and read the list of ingredients. If she’s got a piggy bank full of money, count it out together. Spark interest in learning by being excited for your child when these moments happen. And enjoy kindergarten. It’s coming, but it’ll be gone before you know it.

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