Creative Child

Parenting: 8 Ways to Get Ready for Kindergarten

by Deborah Song on Sep 8th, 2014

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5. Learn social skills.

Kindergarten is as much about getting along with other children as it is about learning. The only way kids will learn to share, take turns, be patient and learn empathy is by playing with other children. So it's important to provide opportunities where your child can interact with other peers. Does your child prefer big open group settings or smaller intimate ones? Set up play experiences that tailor to your child's personality.

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6. Language and math skills.

Most children turn into little chatterboxes by this age. While speaking may not be a problem, get your child used to hearing a wider vocabulary. Speak to him like an adult about child-appropriate topics or even about your day-to-day. Kindergarteners should also be able to count to 10 and understand the concept of addition and subtraction. If you have five coins and take one away, how many do you have? These are all activities you can do at home.

7. Fine Motor skills.

Many kindergarten activities involve coloring, cutting, pasting, writing with a pencil, making play-doh and stringing beads. These are also fun, quality-time activities for the home. Practicing these fine motor skills with your child will empower him when he's instructed to participate in these activities at school.

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8. Gross motor skills.

Research shows that being active helps kids focus better. Balance out your child's day with a healthy dose of unstructured outdoor play. Let him ride bikes and run around  and be a kid.

If a traditional kindergarten isn't right for your child, remember that there are alternatives like un-schooling, homeschooling, and Montessori education.

Deborah Song is a Los Angeles-based writer and the mother of two girls. She received her master’s in journalism from New York University and writes about parenting, business and kid entrepreneurship. You can read more of her work at lemonadepost.com.

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