The transition form preschool to Kindergarten is one of the first big steps a young child takes in his academic career.
As a parent, you may be wondering what the main differences are between the preschool and kindergarten setting and how to best equip your child for these changes. Although the change in environment reflects just a chronological year of advancement, the expectations are vastly different.
What to Expect in Preschool:
- Children are able to expand their play to incorporate peers and develop the skills necessary to gain a greater sense of self and those around them. This might be the first time children are expected to engage with peers, follow directions, and adhere to structure.
- Offers more play-based interventions and structured unstructured time (free play, art time where the child can choose what they want do).
- Children learn to focus, share, take turns, and listen while others speak.
- Language and cognitive skills emerge and strengthen.
What to Expect in Kindergarten:
- The expectation is that the child can endure increased structure and will be able to write, utilize proper pencil grip, and engage in rote counting.
- There is an emphasis on increased child independence as the student becomes more responsible over his choices.
- Children are expected to implement peer problem-solving to avoid tattling and to enhance conflict resolution strategies.
- Implementation of self-help and self-advocacy skills are expected.
- In some cases, the length of the school day is longer.
To prepare your child for Kindergarten, utilize these strategies to create a smooth transition:
- Explore new activities as a family to help your child adjust to change. This will help him to be okay with experiencing the unknown.
- Read to your child for 20 minutes a day to foster listening and focusing skills.
- Use consistent routines and disciplinary methods to get the child familiar with the fixed systems in the school setting (i.e. understand expectations and how to modify behavior).
- Teach child independence through child-friendly clothing (pick out clothes), toileting independence, and setting the expectation that the child will put away toys and coats regularly.
NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!