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MC: Preparing Your Kids for Kinder

I am part of an AWESOME mommy panel with Cassie from Two In Diapers and Julie from Naptime Review.
Each Saturday, we will bring you fresh new ideas and advice about motherhood.
If you enjoyed what you read, we encourage you to tweet about it!
Coming on March 9th, we will discuss:
How do you speak to your kids about stranger danger?
Now on to this week's topic!
How do you prepare your preschooler for kindergarten?
Here is what Mom Connection shared:
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Welcome! I'm Julie over at Naptime Review. I am a mom of two wild, crazy and beautiful girls. My oldest just turned 4 and my baby is 16 months old. This is how I prepare my preschooler for kindergarten:
When Averie was 18 months old, she was a student in my in home preschool. Luckily, she knew the teacher so she couldn’t get kicked out. Oh she was a pain! We had more time outs than circle time. Now, she is attending preschool at a local church. She is learning so much! I am confident in all the early childhood education years under Averie’s belt. I know she will be prepared for Kindergarten.
As a former kindergarten and 1st grade teacher myself, I feel I am always working with my children. I try to incorporate learning into everyday conversations and experiences. We count and sort our food, we look for shapes while we drive, and we work on writing our name. We are always doing something. I guess that is the former teacher in me!
However, I realize that some parents struggle with knowing how to prepare their children for school. That is why I am really impressed with Every night, before bed, Averie and I sit down at the computer and work on her skills. is preschool education for ages 2-5. The curriculum covers music, art, math, science, songs and reading. Each child has an individualized learning path. All we have to do is sit down and they do the teaching. They have over 1,000 lessons so we never get bored. Not only do I enjoy that one-on-one time with Averie, but I love to see her get the skills needed for Kindergarten.
So my advice for preparing your child for Kindergarten is enrolling in early childhood programs, using everyday conversations to help your child learn, and finding a fun and educational curriculum.
Hi! I'm Cassie from Two In Diapers, and I'm a mommy to three sweet babies, ages 4, 3, and 20 months. This is how I prepare my preschoolers for kindergarten:
Well, for one {obvious} thing - preschool. :) My older two {ages 5 and 3} are both currently in preschool, and we are completely thrilled with their school. My daughter is already reading, and my son is learning tons of age-appropriate things in his class and just having a blast. They are both learning how to interact with their teachers and fellow students, and are learning all of the basics (and much more!) academically that they will be required to know in kindergarten. {I would like to acknowledge that there are plenty of children who never attended preschool and did fine in kindie, but I also think that kindergarten requirements have changed a bit in this age when most every child attends preschool, and many for multiple years}.
Emotionally, we try very hard to grow healthy, stable, confident, and aware children. Our kids have always been around lots of other kids {even our first - we did activities with other kids four days per week minimum!} and we demand love and respect towards their siblings and others as consistently as possible. I feel that everything we teach them from the moment they're born - love, respect, manners, etc. - prepares them for kindergarten and beyond.
I also feel strongly that a good home base filled with lots of love will give them a stable place to go when they have those days where they struggle, thus giving them the confidence to push on and grow.
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My name is Alexa from No Holding Back. I am the mom of Nayner Bug (male, 5), Jelly Bean, (female, 3) and Tiny (female, 1). This is how I prepare my preschooler for kindergarten:
I am going to be totally honest and say I didn't prepare my son for Kindergarten. But his preschool sure did. He had the BEST preschool teachers! Their main focus was on teaching the child social behaviors: how to stand in line, how to follow directions, how to be quiet and respectful. Those are really the issues that will make or break a child in Kindergarten. As they said and I have found from watching him, children will arrive at Kindergarten with a variety of knowledge, from knowing all their ABCs to not recognizing any of them. They will all learn those things and be ready for 1st grade. But if your child cannot sit still and listen to directions, school is going to be very difficult. So, if you are getting ready to prepare a child for school, don't stress over whether or not they can read or write (although I will say, it is VERY helpful if they are already comfortable using a pencil and writing some letters - that is certainly one area I lament not working more with him on) but do make sure they know how to wait their turn, follow directions, and interact with other children. (FYI, girls seem, generally speaking, to be WAY better at this than boys!)
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My name is Fotini! I blog over at Glamorous Affordable Life. I am the mom of (Isabella 21 months and Christian 6 years). This is how I prepare my preschooler for kindergarten:
Just the thought of sending Christian off to school scared me to death! I loved his pre-school, it was a small Christian based program, so sending him to public school was a big jump, for both of us! Not every day, but at least a couple times a week, we would review what they were learning in class. This way he would be familiar with working on schoolwork at home. I would aim projects we did to whatever it was he was learning in class, be it shapes, colors, etc. He wasn't a messy kid to begin with, but I also emphasized organization. I think preparing them with organization at a young age is such a benefit in so many levels as they grow older. Just like any young child, he was constantly asking many questions daily which I did my best to answer in a way he would understand. I also think this is important in child development because it allows them to feel comfortable asking questions whether in school or another situation. As a parent, if you react aggressively towards the numerous questions kids can ask (no matter how annoying it can be!) I think it prevents them from wanting to ask more, especially if they're truly confused about something, most importantly at school.
As pre-school came to an end, and it was time for kindergarten, Christian was getting really excited to being in a new school and meeting his new teacher. He had a really sweet teacher who kept in close contact with me via email if she had any concerns and vice versa. This really made me feel comfortable sending him off to school, even if it was only for a half-a-day. After the first few weeks of school, Christian began coming home upset and crying. As I began to ask more questions, he told me he was being picked on by not one, but two other kids in his class. This just absolutely broke my heart. Christian is such a loving, innocent boy who cares for everyone and he was so hurt that these kids were picking on him. After talking some with the teacher, she allowed me to volunteer with the class and help out for class projects when an extra helping hand was needed. After meeting the kids that were picking on Christian, it was clear to me that they probably didn't get the love they deserved at home, so I just made sure to be as kind to them as possible. Every time I picked Christian up from school I would make sure to say "hi" to those kids, and after a little bit of time, they stopped picking on Christian. This was a hard time for both of us, and if you're going through bullying with your children, I just recommend you do anything and everything you can to make it stop. Whether it is volunteering in your child’s class, introducing yourself to the bully and/or their parents, keep close contact with the teacher and make the office aware of the problem as well. For this to have happened in kindergarten I was shocked, but remember, unfortunately some of these children are raised in less than ideal situations. Be encouraging and supportive!
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My name is Kristen from The Mrs. & The Momma. I'm the momma of three girls (ages 7, 5, & 3) and a little boy (18 months). This is how I prepare my preschoolers for kindergarten:
Where we live, if a kid isn't at least on the verge of reading (if not already reading) by the time they start kinder.... they’re considered behind the curve. I don't know if this is the case nation-wide, but for parents here, I think it puts a lot of pressure on us. I feel social and reading skills are the primary preparations for school. Two of my children are in school (1st and kinder) and we chose to put both of them in a preschool at the age of 3-4. Because of their differing personalities, we chose different types of preschool, but the main goal was to learn proper ways to be in a classroom setting and to learn how to play with various children (even those they may not like). I know preschool isn't feasible for some families, so another great avenue is a co-op between moms (here's a great curriculum). This serves the same purpose, and also may be more comforting to know the home and parents with which your child is spending time and from whom they are learning.
With all my girls (my son is still too young), we teach them reading readiness as soon as they are interested. My mother is a former educator, so I was able to draw from her wisdom and experience in teaching at home in those early years. There is a great list of things every child should know before kindergarten here. If you're unsure if your child is on the right track, this is a great checklist for parents! Another great resource is this list of simple, everyday activities to prepare your child for kinder.
Education is of utmost importance to our family, as I'm sure it is yours.... however, preparing your child for that day they no longer are under your constant supervision....well, that involves a lot more than what I can write in a few paragraphs. But basically, it starts with loving parents.
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Your Turn:

How do you prepare your preschoolers for kindergarten?
Leave us a comment; we love to read your tips and advice!
Need advice? Check out these previous Mom Connection topics:

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