AAUW Preschool in Waukegan is an LLC Premier Partner. This post is part of their partnership with Little Lake County. Written by AAUW Preschool Director Ann Adkins, all opinions belong to AAUW.
Will my child be ready for kindergarten? A better question to ask is: Will my child be ready for his next life adventure?
We live in an ever-changing world, and kindergarten expectations and curriculum are not the same as they were a generation ago. While we cannot predict what skills our children will need in the future, some skills are constant and don’t change even with newer technologies, teaching methods, or school expectations. Some academic skills are good to have when entering kindergarten, but more important are the life-long skills children need as they enter any new phase of their lives.
Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten?
Skills needed for kindergarten and beyond:
- A sense of belonging
- An ability to communicate
- A love for learning
- Confidence to take risks
- Persistence to follow through
- Independent, creative thinking
- A foundation for all future learning
What does this mean? Let’s look at each skill:
A sense of belonging. Children need a sense of belonging, to be part of a safe and accepting environment – whether it be family, church, preschool. In a safe environment, children feel comfortable making mistakes and ask for help.
An ability to communicate. Talk…Talk…Talk. Children need an ability to communicate, engaging in conversations regularly. Talk about what you’re doing, where you’re going, what you see. Ask your child questions, listen to his or her responses and continue the conversation. Reading stories, drawing pictures, dictating stories, letters or emails are all forms of communication.
A love for learning. Children are innately curious learners and are born with a love for learning. They naturally wonder and explore and need opportunities to discover.
Confidence to take risks. Children need the confidence to take risks. They need the freedom to make choices, make mistakes, and learn from their mistakes. Whether the challenge is a puzzle, learning to write their name, climbing a tree, or riding a bicycle. As difficult as this is for parents, children need these opportunities to help develop independence.
Persistence to follow through. When at first they don’t succeed, children need persistence to follow through. Whether the challenge is drawing a picture, printing letters, building a block structure that won’t stay up or handling conflict with a sibling or friend. Children need persistence to find a solution and build their skills.
Independent, creative thinking. Children need a variety of interesting materials space and time to explore, manipulate and experiment to develop independent, creative thinking. Resources found in nature, recycled materials, as well as art and building supplies, allow ample opportunities to freely spark their interests.
A foundation for all future learning. All of these provide a foundation for all future learning. These are life-long skills – they will be needed each time your child enters a new situation or phase of life – whether it’s high school, college, a job, or living on one’s own.
Please remember, children don’t have the experience to visualize what kindergarten is or what will be expected of them. Having all of these skills will help them navigate this new experience.
At AAUW Preschool, we help parents seek the answers to their questions about kindergarten readiness, expectations, and school choices by offering a biannual Kindergarten Information Night.
About AAUW Preschool
AAUW Preschool was founded in 1953 by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The school is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). AAUW Preschool serves students from northern Lake County, Illinois—including Waukegan, Gurnee, Great Lakes, Wadsworth, Beach Park, and Zion, and southern Wisconsin. We offer various half-day programs for three, four, and five-year-olds and weekly parent-child classes for toddlers.
2500 N Northern Ave Waukegan, IL 60087
Find more information about AAUW Preschool as well as other area preschools in our Little Lake County Guide to Lake County Preschools.
Disclosure: Partnerships and event listings are not an endorsement of a particular school or curriculum but are provided to give the community more in depth information about options available.