Every year around this time, parents of young children are faced with the question of, “Is he/she ready for Kindergarten?”. With the change in academic standards and rigor of Kindergarten, it’s no wonder that this question gets asked, year after year, and with increasing levels of anxiety. While schools may differ on the academic requirements, actual kindergarten readiness may be best measured by the presence of some pretty basic skills.
In the article, “Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten”, Karen Goodshaw, principal of St. Perpetua School in Lafayette, and Natalie Deininger, the school’s development director, share key factors in determining kindergarten readiness. There are some simple ways not only to promote being ready for kindergarten but to also ensure your child’s success as a student.
According to Goodshaw, kindergarten readiness falls into four basic categories: academic development, motor skills, social readiness, and personal care. These skills can be established and practiced through play, creating friendships, problem solving and physical and mental challenges. Social readiness is developed through play, participation and collaboration with others and it is important that they experience this as often as possible. It can be challenging to find the right outlets and options for providing children with these basic skills but doing so will help foster a smoother transition when it comes time to start school. Summer camp activities offers a great opportunity for these activities to occur naturally! Many of the life skills learned at camp are practice for the basic skills kids need for kindergarten and beyond.
At camp, we emphasize something we call “friendship making and keeping skills.” Experiencing friendships within camper groups and among a camp community affords young children a huge head start into social readiness for school. Working together with a peer group, communicating, making decisions together and the focus on skill development at camp, all contribute to a solid foundation of social readiness for children entering Kindergarten.