It can be an exciting and emotional time for children and their parents when a child officially begins his school career with kindergarten. However, is that child ready? And, how do parents prepare their child to be ready? The Illinois Early Learning Project has a great tip sheet on this topic that I would like to share:
What are the health requirements for a child to begin school in Illinois?
- A physical exam by a health care provider. The provider should give you a signed form to take to school.
- A dental exam performed by a licensed dentist.
- An eye exam performed by an optometrist or medical doctor.
- All required immunizations. Start early so your child is ready for that ﬁrst day. Talk to your health care provider or call the Illinois Public Health Department at (217) 782-4977 if you're not sure what immunizations he needs.
What will the teacher expect my child to be able to do?
- Hold and use a pencil, crayons, and scissors.
- Say his full name and how he gets to and from school.
- Handle self-care tasks such as hanging up her coat, going to the toilet, and washing her hands.
- Get along with most children and adults and respect the property and rights of others.
- Work alone and with others.
- Sit and listen for about 15 minutes.
- Remember and carry out two or three directions; ﬁnish a task she starts.
- Follow simple rules and be willing to take turns.
What are some ways I can help prepare my child?
- Help him learn about the world around him. Take him on interesting trips—to the library or grocery store, on a bus ride, or to a museum or park—and talk with him about what he sees. Encourage his curiosity and help him ﬁnd answers to his questions.
- Read to her and let her know that words can be written as well as spoken.
- Teach him the names of colors and shapes.
- Help him see and hear how objects and sounds may be alike or different.
How can I ﬁnd out what my local school expects of my child?
- Take advantage of any kindergarten screening or school visits your school may offer.
- Call the school ofﬁce and ask for information on what is expected of children and parents.
What if my child needs special help to be ready for kindergarten?
- Check with your local school district ofﬁce to ﬁnd out about developmental screening and programs.
- Call (800) 851-6197 or visit www.childﬁnd-idea-il.us to learn more about services for children who have special needs.
Source: Illinois Early Learning Project, https://illinoisearlylearning.org/tipsheets/readykindergarten/