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Preparing Children for School


Prepare Children for School 

Useful Tips and Ideas for Parents 

How do I know if my child is ready for school? What is expected of them in Kindergarten? How can I help prepare my child? Parents are sometimes overwhelmed by these questions. The following is a checklist of basic skills Kindergarten teachers expect children to have as they enter school. It assists both teachers and parents in determining whether a child is ready for school. Also provided are tips and ideas for parents to guide their child's learning from infancy through school age.

Teacher Expectations: 

  • handles personal needs (bathroom needs, button shirts, zip-up zippers
  • happy away from home
  • shares with others
  • follows rules
  • child pays attention to adult directed activities
  • counts numbers, know colors, copies simple shapes, cuts with scissors
  • recognize groups of one, two, three or more objects
  • identify some alphabet letters, rhyming words, beginning sounds of some words
  • speaks clearly, talks in complete sentences of five to six words
  • listens to stories without interruption, retell stories from pictures
  • expresses own needs and wants

Tips for Parents and Child Care Providers: 

  • provide a balanced and nutritious diet
  • schedule regular medical and dental check-ups including immunizations
  • make sure children get plenty of rest
  • provide opportunities for outdoor exercise such as running and jumping to help with large muscle development
  • coloring, scribbling, puzzles help with small muscle development for writing
  • talk with children about their feelings and how to express themselves
  • teach children how to resolve conflicts by modeling appropriate behavior and redirect as necessary
  • limit television, read with children everyday and take trips to the library
  • allow children to help with everyday tasks, sort laundry by colors, set the table, count plates or cups, pick up toys
  • encourage children to try new things and allow time for them to ask questions.

Remember, each child is unique and may pick up skills at different rates, so don't be discouraged if a child does not learn right away. It may simply require more practice.

Howard County Resources: 

Judy Center at Cradlerock Elementary School
6700 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, MD 21045

Howard County Public Schools
Early Childhood Division
10910 Route 108
Ellicott City, MD 21042

Howard County Child Care Resource Center
3300 North Ridge Rd., Suite 380
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Howard County Library
6600 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, MD 21045
Check with the Children’s Librarian in each branch

Ready At Five Partnership
111 South Calvert Street, Suite 1720
Baltimore, MD 21202