Starting kindergarten can be exciting, fun, and a little scary. And that’s just for the parents. We hope this page of information, tips, and activities will help ease your fears as you get your child ready to start school. We’ll address some typical questions about starting school. How do you register for kindergarten? What does my child need to know before they start school?
So what does being ready for kindergarten actually mean? Children need to have some basic skills so that are ready to successfully learn and adapt to a kindergarten classroom environment. These skills include language, literacy, physical movement, math, cognitive ability, and social-emotional. How can my child begin developing these skills? To help you get started, we’ve listed each one of the skill areas, what it means, and some activities that you can do at home with your child. Some of these you may already be doing and some may be new to you. Keep in mind that children develop at different rates so if your child is not grasping a concept right away, try again at a later time.
Your school may also be participating in the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS). There are three parts to WaKIDS: family connection, skills assessment, and early learning collaboration. First, the teacher will meet with you before or shortly after school starts to welcome you and your family and talk about your child’s strengths and needs. Next, the teacher will assess your child’s skills in six areas: social-emotional, language, literacy, physical, cognitive, and mathematics. This helps the teacher learn what your child knows already and what areas need improvement. Lastly, teachers and early learning professionals meet to share information and support a smooth transition for your child into the classroom. Eventually, the hope is to have all schools in Washington State participating in WaKIDS.
To learn more about each area and activities that you can do with your child to develop these skills, please see below.