Friday, July 11, 2014

Preparing for Pre-K and Kindergarten

I can't believe it. In forty days we will have one kiddo in full-day Kindergarten and one in Pre-K. Where in the heck did the time go? I feel like we haven't even begun to enjoy summer! (... maybe the fact that we haven't gone outside much since it is ridiculously hot and humid in Oklahoma has something to do with it...) Either way, it's learning crunch time.

My goal at the beginning of summer was to really work with the girls consistently on their fine motor skills, reading, writing, etc. so that they would be well prepared for the school year. Of course, I have never had a child in specifically Kindergarten so I didn't really know what was required or expected of Addi as she enters into the new school year. I found these great lists from Leap Frog and Scholastic online that gave me a good starting point on what to focus on as far as skill set. 

(Pre-K is technically considered Preschool- which is ages 2 thru 5. 
So for Jae, who has already taken a year of preschool, I use different aspects of each list)

  • Remembers short sequences of events of 2 to 3 steps
  • Develops gross motor coordination, such as to navigate around obstacles
  • Rides tricycles
  • Understands that words convey the message in a story
  • Recognizes the first letter of their own name
  • Scribble-writes in a linear fashion
  • Recognizes and matches small quantities to the number words 1, 2 and 3
  • Distinguishes between "some" and "all," and parts of a whole
  • Considers and offers explanations of how things might work
  • Drawings have basic resemblance to objects and people
  • Likes to imitate sounds and rhythm; might have a favorite song

  • Identify some letters of the alphabet
  • Grip a pencil, crayon, or marker correctly (with the thumb and forefinger supporting the tip)
  • Use scissors, glue, paint, and other art materials with relative ease
  • Write his first name using upper- and lowercase letters, if possible
  • Count to 10
  • Bounce a ball
  • Classify objects according to their size, shape, and quantity
  • Speak using complete sentences
  • Recognize some common sight words, like “stop”
  • Identify rhyming words
  • Repeat his full name, address, phone number, and birthday
  • Play independently or focus on one activity with a friend for up to ten minutes
  • Manage bathroom needs
  • Dress himself
  • Follow directions
  • Clean up after himself
  • Listen to a story without interrupting
  • Separate from parents easily

Knowing what is to be expected of the girls, I have acquired a few learning tools and books over the last few months and thought I'd share so of my favorites with y'all in case you are interested!

The Brain Quest Workbooks are our "go-to" books. The girls love the exercises out of these.
They have a Pre-K as well as Kindergarten level.

These are fun books. Definitely need mom or dad interaction with these (which is why I love them).
It challenges their way of thinking. These come in Kindergarten and Preschool levels.

I LOVE this LeapFrog booklet. It allows you to make most any 3-letter word.
I saw Addi's reading skills improve a ton after practicing with this for a few days.
A great Target find in the craft section! 

Last, but not least: Dry Erase anything. Doesn't matter if it is a plain board or a book full of mazes, letters, math...
The fact that we can use them over and over for not just the girls, but the boys as well is awesome!
Target has a great section of these items by the books.


Well there you go! Hope this helps you get started if you needed some ideas! If you are interested in sight word cards or other tools we've used, let me know!

... and remember ...