Child Development – Giving your Child a Head Start – before Kindergarten

When we have children, some of us are like supermoms or dads.  We get so caught up in being the best number one caregiver for their every immediate need, that we also get burned out before they even reach kindergarten. The challenge for parents is to balance caregiving.

Being a parent is such an awesome important task and should be enjoyed every step of the way [not carried along so hurriedly] that we forget to place importance on learning and development.

By the time our children reach Kindergarten, it is of utmost importance that they have reached and mastered certain milestones or skills.  Below are some important developmental areas / milestones necessary to give you child the best head start-before Kindergarten:

In the area of Personal and Social Development

Your child’s Approaches to learning

 

  • Shows eagerness and curiosity as a learner
  • Persists in task and seeks help when encountering a problem
  • Is generally pleasant and cooperative

 

Your child’s Self-Control

 

  • Follows rules and routines
  • Manages transitions (going from one activity to the next)
  • Demonstrates normal activity level

 

Your child’s Interactions with Others

 

  • Interacts easily with one or more children
  • Interacts easily with familiar adults
  • Participates in group activities
  • Plays well with others
  • Takes turns and shares
  • Cleans up after play

 

Conflict Resolution

 

  • Seeks adult help when needed to resolve conflicts
  • Uses words to resolve conflicts

 

In the area of language and literacy

 

Listening

 

  • Listens with understanding to directions and conversations
  • Follows one-step directions
  • Follows two-step directions

 

Speaking

 

  • Speaks clearly enough to be understood without contextual clues
  • Relates experiences with some understanding of sequences of events

 

Literature and Reading

 

  • Listens with interest to stories read aloud
  • Shows interest in reading-related activities
  • Retells information from a story
  • Sequences three pictures to tell a logical story

 

Writing

 

  • Uses pictures to communicate ideas
  • Uses scribbles, shapes, and letter-like symbols to write words or ideas

 

Knowledge of Alphabet

 

  • Recites/sings alphabet
  • Matches upper-case letters
  • Matches lower-case letters
  • Identifies upper-case letters
  • Identifies lower-case letters

 

In the area of mathematical thinking

 

Patterns and Relationships

 

  • Sorts by color, shape, and size
  • Orders or seriates several objects on the basis of one attribute
  • Recognizes simple patterns and duplicates them

 

Number concept and operations

 

  • Counts objects with meaning to 10
  • Matches numerals
  • Identifies by naming, numerals 0-10

 

Geometry and spatial relations

 

  • Identifies 4 shapes- circle, square, rectangle, triangle
  • Demonstrates concepts of positional/directional concepts (up/down, over/under, in/out, behind/in front of, beside/between, top/bottom, inside/outside, above/below, high/low, right/left, off/on, first/last, far/near, go/stop).

 

Measurement

 

  • Shows understanding of and uses comparative words (big/little, large/small, short/long, tall/short, slow/fast, few/many, empty/full, less/more.

 

In the area of physical development

 

Your child’s Gross-Motor Skills

 

  • Pedals and steers a tricycle
  • Jumps in place, landing on two feet
  • Jumps consecutively- 7 jumps
  • Balances on one foot for 5 seconds
  • Hops on one foot 2-3 hops
  • Hops on one foot- 6 ft.
  • Throws a ball with direction- 5 ft.
  • Catches a thrown ball with arms and body
  • Climbs a playground ladder
  • Skips smoothly for 20 feet

 

Your child’s Fine-Motor Skills

 

  • Stacks 10, one-inch blocks
  • Strings 4 1/2″ beads in two minutes
  • Completes a seven piece interlocking puzzle
  • Makes a pancake, snake, and ball from playdough
  • Grasps pencil correctly
  • Copies:  vertical line, horizontal line, circle, cross, square, V, triangle
  • Copies first name
  • Prints first name without a model
  • Grasps scissors correctly
  • Cuts within 1/4″ of a 6″ straight line on construction paper
  • Cuts out a 3″ square on construction paper
  • Cuts out a 3″ triangle on construction paper
  • Cuts out a 3″ circle on construction paper
  • Uses a glue stick appropriately
  • Uses appropriate amount of glue for tasks

 

In the area of the arts

 

Creative Arts

 

  • Identifies 10 colors:  red, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple, black, white, brown, pink
  • Uses a variety of art materials for tactile experience and exploration

Music/Movement

  • Participates in group music experiences
  • Participates in creative movement/dance

Creative Dramatics

 

  • Makes believe with objects
  • Takes on pretend roles and situations

 

The above information is from the on-line article, 71 things your child needs to know before Kindergarten, published: March 6, 2012, by Janae

 

Just food for thought ~ as usual I would love to know your thoughts.

~ D. Linn Whorley