ABC's and 123's...Is Your Preschooler Ready? by Rhonda Miller - Articles - Parent Community and Forum
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ABC's and 123's...Is Your Preschooler Ready? by Rhonda Miller

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by , 06-25-2010 at 04:00 AM (2922 Views)

I can well remember the days of kindergarten 4.... well, let's just say many years ago! Times have certainly changed! Kindergarten used to be a half day of play and socializing; a way for children to become accustomed to being away from parents and with other children. Today, in the secular community, kindergarten is more about learning. But, what about homeschooled kindergarten students?

We begin teaching our children as soon as they pop into our lives. We teach them everything they know. "Monkey see, monkey do." We've all heard that expression, but it's so true with children. They learn and then they mimic! They soak up information like a sponge soaking up water. There is a window of learning opportunity that begins to slowly close as a child gets older. The desire and ability to learn at a young age is nothing less than amazing! As parents, we should take this opportunity and run with it. If you've decided to homeschool your child that will be kindergarten age, keep reading for preschool standards that are expected in the secular community. As homeschoolers, we certainly want no less!

Self-Help Skills: Preschool children should be able to use buttons and zippers, and be able to dress and undress. They should also be able to go to the bathroom, flush and wash their hands on their own. A four to five year old should be able to feed themselves and verbally indicate likes and dislikes.

Social Skills: Even homeschooled children should be taught and expected to follow social skills. After all, they won't always be at home! They should be able to be at ease without parents and be able to mingle acceptably with other children. "Please" and "thank you" are manners that should always be taught. Preschoolers should be able to do what is asked of them by adults other than parents. Of course, this is keeping in mind that you should teach them safety rules about strangers, and who strangers are. By all means, teach your child how to cough or sneeze into their elbow. This may sound a little funny, but when children cover their mouth with their hands, they simply go right on with whatever they are doing with dirty hands. At least their elbow isn't in direct contact with other objects like their hands would be.

Personal Information:
Children should know their full name, address, and telephone number and the names/relation of close family members. Your child should also know the correct name for body parts.

Basic Knowledge: Teach basic colors, numbers 1-10 (if not higher), names of common objects, names of common animals, names of buildings such as the hospital and fire department, how to use writing objects and scissors, and how to write their first and last name. And, of course, you should teach children safety rules. It would also be good to know the days of the week, a few things about weather and maybe a little about holidays.

Language and Math: down to the nitty gritty! Letters, words, and pictures are a vital part of communication, so the more your preschooler knows, the better! They should be able to say the alphabet and write and recognize all the letters. Read to your preschooler frequently. Let them see you reading frequently. (Yes, there's a difference--remember "monkey see, monkey do".) Speak to your children in complete sentences and expect the same from them. As far as math, your preschooler should be able to count from 1 to 10 and recognize the numbers and know basic shapes.

Does that seem like a long list and daunting task? Not really! Just remember that young children learn fast. Birth through age five, has been proven in studies, to be the most important ages for a good educational foundation to be formed. Investigate all your options! This would also be an excellent time to start teaching your children computer skills. Many people have the false assumption that young children cannot use a computer. Quite the opposite! Use the computer to your advantage and for your child's enhanced learning experience. There are many great online sites that offer skills for kindergarten readiness where learning and fun are integrated. What could be easier? Best of all, such online programs offer a little something for all learning styles. Children can actually learn faster and the information "sticks" better.

Children love the world around them! Nurture their curiosity and help them explore and have fun while learning. Keep a positive attitude about learning and success will be waiting to greet you!