If the adage, “Everything I needed to know, I learned in kindergarten,” is true, then parents and teachers must ensure every child who starts kindergarten is ready to learn. At Foothill Christian School we are less concerned about what a child has learned prior to kindergarten and more concerned that they are ready to learn.
GROSS MOTOR SKILLS – large muscle development that helps with running, throwing, catching and moving through space. Stimulates balance, coordination and a spatial awareness.
Have your child hop, skip, gallop, or dance to rhythms of piano or drums.
Walk a line four inches wide, eight to twelve feet long, in a heel-to-toe manner
Roll, toss, bounce catch a ball. Start with larger balls and gradually change to smaller ball
FINE MOTOR SKILLS – small muscle development that helps children grip a pencil, use scissors and tie their shoelaces.
Use clay, playdough, color, weave, fold cut lace and tie activities
Fit objects together such as nesting cubes, simple jigsaw puzzles and cut-out stencils
String beads in a reproduction of a pattern. String macaroni, sew with yarn
Trace, outline, cut with scissors and finger paint
VISUAL DISCRIMINATION – the ability to differentiate between shapes, letters, numbers and other symbols. It is a crucial skill to the reading process.
Sort objects by size, color content.
Look at 4-5 items that are the same and one that is not. Child finds the one that is different
Play card games such as “Slap Jack”, “Go Fish” or “Old Maid”.
Cut pictures from magazines and cut off parts of the objects. Have your child draw the missing part.
VISUAL MEMORY – helps children accurately recall information they take in visually which supports the sequence of stories and events and retention of ideas.
Play the Memory Game by Milton Bradley or Concentration
Show your child a picture in a story book. Close the book and have your child tell you three things he saw in the picture
Arrange some items in order. Have your child close their eyes and mix them up. Child puts them back in order from memory.
AUDITORY DISCRIMINATION – provides the necessary skill to distinguish between the sounds of letters, beginning – middle-and ending sounds, rhyming words and more. It also contributes to proper enunciation and speech.
Always verbalize experiences with your child. When traveling talk about what you see.
Play a game that has two step directions then increase to three and four steps as child shows mastery
Have child close their eyes and listen while you perform common sounds like bouncing a ball or snapping fingers. Child then identifies the sound.
AUDITORY MEMORY – the ability to retain information the student has heard. Children need to process and recall information continually in the classroom.
Play games such as “I’m packing my suitcase and I put in _____”, and add more items one-by-one.
Ask your child to recall outstanding events of the previous day.
Clap your hands in a simple rhythm and have your child repeat it.
RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE – the understanding of age appropriate vocabulary, descriptive language and words in various contexts. A large part of comprehension is dependent on this skill.
Play “I Spy” (a color, a shape or object) Say “I spy something you don’t see” and describe it. Child guesses the object.
Ask child to pantomime activities such as: show me how you wash dishes, drive a car, brush your teeth, etc.
Give directions which ask your child to place something on, behind, in front of, between, under and next to.
EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE – the ability for children to verbally express their thoughts, feelings and ideas.
Have your child use a play or real telephone and play conversations.
Have your child look at photographs/pictures and describe what he sees.
Using a storybook, have your child “read” the story by telling you about the pictures.
REASONING SKILLS – are those that help children make good choices; demonstrate comprehension, and understand cause and effect relationships.
While reading a story to your child, stop and ask him to make a prediction about what might happen next in the story.
Show pictures or talk about opposites…front-back, hot-cold, old-new.
Have your child sort items by various characteristics: plastic, metal, smooth, rough etc.
SOCIAL – EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT – is the child’s self-esteem center along with the ability to form positive relationships in both one-to-one and group settings.
Give reasonable tasks around the house for which he is expected to be responsible; caring for his belongings, clearing the table, etc. Praise him when he starts and finishes those tasks.
As you read to him, talk about how characters in the story might feel.
Be an active listener to your child. Giving your full attention allows them time to build their thoughts and express them without being rushed.