Kindergarten has Changed!
Although many parents remember kindergarten as being a place for finger painting and playing with toys, today more and more children are much more educationally prepared for kindergarten than ever before. Increasingly children before the age of 5 are attending preschools which better prepare them to learn. This means that kindergarten is becoming a much more rigorous academic environment than it once was. But academics isn't the only area that is being focused on in kindergarten.
It is wonderful if a child entering kindergarten knows their ABCs, numbers up to 20 and can read somewhat, but interpersonal communication is just as important. Can your child express themselves well enough to communicate what they want? Can your child follow simple directions from a person other than yourself? How well can your child pay attention? How well does your child get along with other children in your area? Does your children know where they live and state their own phone number?
These are all questions that are being focused on in today's kindergarten setting. What else is important is that parents volunteer within their children's classroom. This way they are able to help their children directly in the classroom and take some of the burden off of the teacher. This also helps to facilitate learning in the home as well as in the classroom. Learning can't stop when a child get home and must continue to as much as possible in spare time at home.
What parents need to be prepared for is for their children's mind to be challenged more so than having light classroom activities. Reading and math are being emphasized and parents need to be prepared!