By Allycia Brown, Director of Early Education and Lower School Admissions at Charlotte Christian School
One of the top most frequent questions heard by admissions offices is “How do I make sure that my child is ready for kindergarten?” This question is complex but can be answered through timeless steps that provide readiness beyond your child knowing their ABCs and 123s.
Many factors play into the readiness of your child. One of the greatest areas you can support is your child’s social-emotional development and self-help skills. Here are a few ways to help you to make the most of this developmental season as you prepare for the next steps in your child’s education.
1) Establish and maintain a routine.
A routine will prepare them for the daily transitions they will experience in their kindergarten day. Starting an at-home routine for both the morning and evening is key.
– Brushing their teeth in the morning and evening.
– Establishing consistent times for waking up and taking baths.
– Putting on their pajamas every evening and getting dressed in the morning activates self-help skills.
– Encourage your child to follow through on each task to build stamina and focus.
2) Create opportunities to build language and communication skills.
Sitting down at least 2-3 times per week for family dinner time is a great way to do this. Allow time for everyone at the table to go around and talk about their day. It is important to use open-ended questions, so your child won’t just give ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. Your 4-year-old has a lot to say; using great questions will allow them to communicate freely.
– Establish a one-on-one reading time for you and your child.
– Discuss the best part of the day, the most challenging part and something that just makes you laugh.
– Visit your local library to participate in storytime activities. Charlotte Mecklenburg libraries have great opportunities for this.
3) Practice consistency and predictability.
It is important for your child to understand what is coming next and to have realistic expectations of how things go.
– Hang a visible calendar in your home that will show any planned family activities and what comes next. When the day is done, have them put an X to show completion.
– Create a family chore chart and assign members tasks to participate in based on their age. Each person plays a role in “team family.”
4) Keep things simple but practical.
Always love and nurture your child. This lets them know that you support them and helps them to feel more confident and enhances their social-emotional, physical and mental growth. Give them space to try new things. This supports the development of self-efficacy in tandem with their confidence. This positions them emotionally to take on classroom tasks.
As a parent, sometimes things can get overwhelming – schedules change and life happens! Just take a deep breath and do your best to foster this type of environment and connect with your child.
Mrs. Allycia Brown serves as the director of early education and lower school admissions at Charlotte Christian School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Queens University and a master’s degree in human services from Regent University. She has been an educator and administrator in the North Carolina independent school sector for 20 years.
Charlotte Christian School
7301 Sardis Road
Charlotte, NC 28270