What Can I do to Get my Child Ready for Kindergarten? (page 2)
Your role and responsibility in your child’s growth and development is very important. First realize, however, that developmental growth and learning, while not automatic, is a natural process that proceeds at different rates in different children. Certain developmental skills are typically achieved within a range of ages but not according to a rigid schedule or timetable. A child may be anywhere within that range.
For example, the average age that children learn to walk is 12 months – 50% learn before and 50% learn after that age. The normal range is anywhere from 8¾ months to 17 months. It makes absolutely no difference if a child is an early walker or a later walker.13
Similarly, the average age that children learn to read is 6.5 years of age – 50% learn before and 50% learn after. Research shows that by the end of third grade there is no difference in literacy levels between early readers and later readers.14
A child should not be pushed to develop more quickly – development is a fluid process that can not be rushed. However, you can and should engage your child in a large variety of enriching experiences that enable him or her to grow more fully in skill and confidence, at his or her own developmental stage.
If possible, enroll your child in a quality preschool program prior to Kindergarten, but at an even more basic, daily level, engage your child in conversation. Point out colors, shapes, and objects around you. Sing with your child and encourage silly rhyming. Play with your child, and allow some time for both solo play and peer interaction.
Perhaps most importantly, read to your child daily. Research has shown that reading 119 to children plays a significant role in determining readers and nonreaders at the end of first grade. By reading to your child often, encouraging imaginative play, conversing with your child, and using everyday activities as learning opportunities, you can make valuable contributions to his or her progress.15
What can I do to get my child ready? You Are Here
Reprinted with permission of the Gesell Institute. Copyright © 2010, Gesell Institute of Human Development. All Rights Reserved.
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