Kindergarten Readiness: Preparing Your 5-year-old for Entering School

Kindergarten Readiness: Preparing Your 5-year-old for Entering School
Posted on 03/07/2018
Mrs. Schmidt

It is hard to believe that five-year olds, or children who will soon be five, will enter kindergarten at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.  Even more astonishing is the fact that these students will become the graduating class of 2031!  The school year may not begin for incoming kindergartners until August, but the process of screening and preparing for this major step in your child’s life starts now.

Kindergarten readiness is crucial to the success of all children who are entering school.  As students exit the Mexico Early Childhood Center (ECC), we have targeted 5 core areas of pre-academic development that will be the focus of the first quarter of kindergarten.  In Language Arts, our focus is identifying letter names and sounds, along with writing names and drawing recognizable pictures with emergent writing to describe what they have drawn.  In Math, we focus on naming numerals and representing quantities in sets along with identifying basic shapes.  In Science, we focus on identifying colors, and in Social Awareness, we work with students to know their personal identification information and to understand the basics about themselves and our town and state.  Lastly, our students at ECC are learning skills and behaviors that support learning, like working cooperatively and collaboratively in groups, coping with frustrations and failures, and following agreed-upon rules. 

All children who are entering kindergarten in Mexico Public Schools must be screened prior to attending, unless they have attended ECC for preschool. The screening is the same benchmark assessment we give our students who are exiting ECC to enter kindergarten, and consists of the kindergarten readiness targets discussed earlier in this article. This information gives parents and educators the opportunity to discuss kindergarten entry and any concerns that might arise after screening has been completed.  At this time, all students are screening for speech and hearing issues, as well. 

Kindergarten Screening will take place May 7th-10th at Mexico Early Childhood Center, in conjunction with screenings for entry into preschool for all 3 and 4 year olds the 2018-2019 school year. Kindergarten and preschool screenings are by appointment only and are held at both convenient daytime and evening hours. Parents may call to schedule an appointment for either screening any time after April 23rd. More information will be available closer to April on the district’s website and through social media. 

Additional opportunities to prepare incoming kindergartners for entering school will happen at Welcome to Kindergarten night and through Summer School.  Welcome to Kindergarten night is an event for incoming kindergartners and their families sponsored by all three Mexico elementary schools.  It gives parents and children an opportunity to meet teachers and hear about what happens in kindergarten.  Summer School is a wonderful time for children to get a taste of what kindergarten is like in the actual school setting with a routine very similar to the school day throughout the year.  Summer School will be held from May 30th through June 26th, and registration for summer school begins online on April 3rd. 

Kindergarten entry is exciting time for children and families alike!  Starting the process of preparing now will help to lessen the anxiety of transition for your child and foster a love of learning that will last for years to come.