Get Ready for Kindergarten!

Academically, the transition from pre-Kindergarten to Kindergarten can be quite an adjustment for children and their parents. At this stage, children graduate from more play-based learning to beginning more structured learning with expected academic outcomes. Many parents simply want to know if their child is ready for this change and, most importantly, if their child is prepared to succeed.

This is especially true for parents of young children in a post-pandemic world. Studies are revealing the impact pandemic shutdowns and remote learning had on K-12 education, specifically early learners who had even more limited access to quality developmental programs.

“A slew of studies show that children who attend quality early learning programs are more likely to enter kindergarten with a solid grasp of language and math and to have positive relationships with their parents, for example,” USA Today noted in an article exploring the impact the COVID years had on Kindergarten readiness.

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For many parents, enrolling their child in any Kindergarten program can be both exciting and intimidating. It is a milestone year that can set the tone for a child’s long-term academic success. So what should today’s parents do to ensure their rising Kindergartener is ready for that long-term success?

Every Child Is Unique

One of the core principles StoneBridge embraces recognizes that every child is unique, with unique aptitudes, readiness and circumstances. We recognize that not every student entering our program had the advantage of going through our pre-K program or even one similar to it. Early parent involvement makes a huge difference regardless of where their child starts on the readiness scale.

StoneBridge School uses an accelerated reading program for early learners that really begins in pre-Kindergarten. The increased academic expectations and the rigor of the curriculum offer rich rewards for the student and the family. By the middle of Kindergarten, these young students will have advanced to reading at a 1st grade level.

This is where the parent partnership and tutorial approach we embrace at StoneBridge really bears so much fruit. At StoneBridge, our teachers work in tandem with parents to empower these young learners to be successful. The fruit of this partnership is nothing short of amazing to see.

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“It was such a beautiful experience to hear my child reading words and full sentences on her own for the first time,” one StoneBridge Kindergarten parent said. “In a short amount of time, it was such a blessing to see how my child gained a whole new confidence and had a whole new world open up to her.”

Parents considering StoneBridge School want to know that their child is ready to succeed in our program. To make the transition as smooth as possible, there are some necessary skills that all rising Kindergarteners need, particularly in reading and math.

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Reading (Phonemic awareness):

  • Ability to hear and identify phonemes (sounds) at the beginning and end of words
  • Rhyming words
  • Recognition of all 26 letters of the alphabet and ability to produce the corresponding letter sounds
  • Listening comprehension—listen to a story and retell important events
  • Print recognition—knowing how to hold a book and that we read left to right

Math:

  • Number recognition and numerical order (1-10 or higher)
  • Counting to 50 or more
  • One-to-one correspondence (an early learning math skill that involves counting each object in a set once and only once)
  • Recognition of basic colors and shapes

Basic Skills:

  • Visual discrimination skills (matching objects, identifying details, etc.)
  • Scissors skills
  • Correct pencil grip
  • Able to write name independently
  • Following directions

Kindergarten can seem like a lot, but the ultimate goal our teachers and parents have is to inspire a love of learning in the child. This year is truly foundational for children that sets the tone for the rest of their academic journey. So much growth—emotionally, physically, and academically, and even spiritually—happens between when they start their year with us and when they graduate in May.

“At StoneBridge, we are a community. And our parents know that we’re not just standing up in front of the classroom teaching a lesson to their child, but we’re there because we want to be, that we love each child and we love our families, and we’re called to be here,“ SBS Kindergarten teacher Theresa Boyce said.

It’s our goal to partner with you, developing the whole child–your child–and starting his or her educational journey off on the right foot.

SBS teachers explain what to expect in our Early Education program.


RESOURCES TO HELP PREPARE YOUR RISING KINDERGARTNER:

Kelly Beckner, current NILD Therapist/Testing Coordinator and former Kindergarten teacher for StoneBridge, contributed to this article.