Starting kindergarten is a very exciting time for both parents and their young children. It is the beginning of a new chapter that tests independence and emotional strength. The transformation of children from the first day of kindergarten to the last day is truly astonishing.
When my daughter started kindergarten this fall, she would come home from school completely exhausted and share with me everything she had learned. I could sense that she was feeling a bit overwhelmed…there were so many new and exciting things that she wanted to learn. In an effort to help sort out all these new fun and amazing challenges, I helped her establish “Kindergarten Goals” to work on throughout the year.
Here are some of goals that my daughter and I are currently working toward:
- Learning the kindergarten site words – We have created flash cards with all the kindergarten site words. At night before bed, we play a game with the flash cards. She gets to keep the cards that she gets right; I keep the ones she gets wrong, and we count at the end to see who has more. At first, she only knew about 7 of the 50; however, each night she would remember one or two more, and it was very rewarding to her. She now breezes through them and is very proud trying to improve her speed.
- Getting ready independently in the morning – She is working on picking out clothes to wear that are weather appropriate, getting dressed, and brushing teeth. Now that it has gotten colder, she is responsible for getting her jacket on, finding hat/mittens/scarf, and getting her shoes on. Although this process can take a ridiculous amount of time, it is important she does it herself.
- Number sequencing – Similar to the site words, we have created flash cards with basic addition and subtraction. She gets to keep the cards that she gets right; I keep the ones she gets wrong, and we count at the end to see who has more.
- New sports/activities – Every six to ten weeks, we pick a new sport/activity to try. She has tried soccer, dance, and gymnastics this fall. She has also expressed interest in skating and swimming lessons.
- Shoe tying – It seems like every new shoe out there for young children has those elastic shoelaces that stretch and slip on easily without having to tie them. This style of shoe is so incredibly fast and easy for kids; however, it doesn’t give them the opportunity to learn how to tie their shoes. After making this one of our “kindergarten goals”, my daughter and I went out shopping for shoes with laces, and it didn’t take long before she was tying them herself.