Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
Along with Reading, Writing and ‘rithmetic there is a new R: social and emotional skills. For young children, social and emotional skills are a big part of kindergarten readiness that has been overshadowed by academics. In the words of writer Mike McKay, “…the brain can’t learn, the mind can’t engage and the person can’t reach full potential without…reasonable functioning.”
Now, when it comes to little kids “reasonable” is sort of wishful thinking. Nevertheless, we can support children as they learn some basic social skills that will help them at daycare, preschool, kindergarten and beyond. Some basic social and emotional skills appropriate for young kids are sharing, taking turns, and learning to wait.
Although it doesn’t seem like it at first, being able to wait is a skill. Did you know that waiting needs self-regulation and impulse control? At any age and stage, both kids and grownups have to be able to wait. Being able to wait is so important that children who can cope with waiting when they are young, have higher test scores at graduation. In case you want to know, the term for this is “Strategic Allocation of Attention”. For some kids it might be easier than for others, but all of them can develop some strategies and skills so they can handle the challenge of waiting.
One strategy that helps for waiting is to talk about it and have fun. Are there some cookies in the oven and a child waiting until they are done? Ask the cookies if they are ready yet. In a different voice, be the cookies that answer “Nope, we’re not ready yet. We need to cook some more so we’ll be yummy in your tummy.” Some other activities that help waiting are singing songs, telling stories, having a basket of special books or toys to play with, or playing I Spy. We need to let kids know that we see them waiting. We all like to have our efforts acknowledged no matter our age.
The day will likely have some times when kids need to wait. For a play-of-the-day, can you and your child turn that waiting into something fun?
With some sun and rain this month gardens are sprouting everywhere, and so is the fun, learning and kindergarten readiness. One of the most important lessons that all of us learn from the experience of having a garden is patience. Plants grow when they grow and we just have to wait. We can’t pull upContinue Reading
When kids go off to kindergarten, there are 3 key kindergarten readiness social skills that will make the experience much more fun–being able to share, take turns and wait. Now, while it’s easy to see that sharing and taking turns are important, it’s not as obvious for being able to wait. But waiting involves someContinue Reading
Songs for waiting, stories for waiting, activities for waiting and today some games for waiting. The most recent blog posts have been all about helping children learn skills and strategies for coping with having to wait. Ring around the rosie is a traditional favorite that really young children can do. There is an element ofContinue Reading
Being able to wait is an important social skill for children–see earlier posts from this week. I enlist the help of a few stuffies to show kids some waiting strategies. A stuffie conversation may go something like this: Well, hi there guys. Today, we’re going to take you for a walk in the stroller, asContinue Reading
Music can help children–and adults–cope with many challenges. Waiting is something we all have to do and it helps if little ones have some skills and strategies for waiting. Mr. Rogers has a waiting song as well as Daddy Kooala, Boowa and Kwala but these only have a couple of verses. Sometimes, songs need toContinue Reading
For patiently waiting, this story’s character takes the prize. As mentioned yesterday, being able to wait is a skill that gets easier with practice. It even has it’s own label: Strategic Allocation of Attention. Being able to wait is so helpful for little ones because they will have to do so much of it. Plus, delayingContinue Reading
At the beginning of the month, I was fortunate enough to attend a presentation by the child expert and parenting author, Michele Borba. She reminded the parents, caregivers and teachers present that education is more than academics. We need to make sure that we provide experiences for social, emotional and physical development as well as intellectual. MicheleContinue Reading