Kindergarten: Ready? Get set. Go!

Kindergarten: Ready? Get set. Go!
Posted on 03/05/2024
Each fall, a new wave of MacLaren’s youngest students arrive on campus, wide-eyed and excited for the adventures ahead.

There is perhaps no other academic year in which students make such a big leap in physical, social-emotional, and language skills than in Kindergarten. There are many ways parents and guardians can help prepare their children for a smooth transition into this important year. 

If you were to walk into a Kindergarten classroom, you would observe that some students know every letter of the alphabet and others know only the letters in their names. Some have neat handwriting while others are still working on a skill known as “pencil grip.” It may surprise you that a student’s lack of pencil grip skills may be more concerning to a Kindergarten teacher than another student’s limited knowledge of the alphabet. 

Kindergarten students use a variety of fine and gross motor skills. At MacLaren, they will have daily P.E. classes and several recess breaks in which to run, jump, and play, as well as quieter time to focus on using scissors and writing letters. Help prepare children for these skills with plenty of time spent coloring, cutting, gluing, building, running, climbing, and playing at parks and playgrounds. 

Once at school, students will need to regulate their emotions, make friends, and participate in a group setting. Parents and guardians can help prepare children for these skills by giving them opportunities to practice calming techniques, learn to make and recover from mistakes, and play with other children. These skills will help students to feel calm and confident their first nervous days at school. 

In Kindergarten, students will need to express their needs to teachers and others using words. Is your child currently using words to express his or her needs? Does he or she understand when given verbal directions and comprehend the story when read a book? Help children develop these important skills by practicing conversation, reading books and talking about them, and playing games that involve directions so your child can practice understanding and following directions in a gentle way.

Ultimately, every child will have some areas that he or she needs to grow more than others and that is okay. Each student is unique, and our Kindergarten teachers will help develop all skill levels so that students feel confident in the growth that they make. 

The Kindergarten year is one where students join MacLaren’s community of learners. Our students are invited to wonder, ask questions, discuss, make mistakes, and grow in friendship with one another. 

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