One of my nieces is getting ready to start kindergarten in a year or so and her parents are doing all they can to make sure she’s ready. I was visiting my sister and her family about a week ago, and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly my niece is learning. Even though I taught older children when I was teaching, I’m still interested in the early learning process, especially now that I have nieces that are starting school.

If you’re in the same boat and your toddler only has a few short years until she starts school full time, check out these things your child should know before setting foot inside the classroom.

Social and Personal Development
 Before academic learning, your toddler needs to get a better grasp on her social and personal growth. This includes learning how to be a learner by being encouraged to explore, ask questions, and persist in completing tasks, even if they’re difficult. This will require a lot of encouragement, modeling, and patience from you. Since you child is just learning these things, you need to give her time to learn and not get impatient when she fails or takes a long time.

Social development also includes self-control and social manners. This means teaching your child the value of sharing and waiting her turn. This can be especially difficult for only children, so if you don’t have any other children, you might want to think about pre-school or even more playdates with other children the same age as your child.

Literacy and Language
Literacy and language isn’t just about reading or words. Literacy includes speaking, reading, writing, and listening. The most important things you can teach your child about literacy are:
•    How to follow one and two step directions
•    How to retell information from a story
•    How to convey an idea through drawing a picture
•    Phonemic awareness (the idea that letters have sounds)

The list for math is a little shorter, but still just as important. Children going into kindergarten should be able to count to at least 20 and identify written numbers up to about 10. They should also be able to identify basic shapes and be able to sort by color, size, and shape. Along with this, they should be able to follow simple patterns involving numbers and shapes. Though there is a lot more children can learn before they get to kindergarten, these should build a pretty solid foundation and set the stage for beginning their education.

Jenae, J. (2012, April 6). 71 things your child needs to know before kindergarten.I Can Teach My Child.