Without a doubt, the demands of kindergarten have changed over the past several decades. The half-days of play-based instruction and lengthy naps are long gone, replaced by desk work, limited recess, and direct instruction. Overall, programs are much more academically rigorous than most parents anticipate.
But it’s not just the academic content that overwhelms students. In my role as a school occupational therapist, kindergarten teachers are constantly approaching me in the hallways begging for tips on how to improve their students’ fine motor and self-help skills. So I was inspired to create a list of the ones that students struggle with the most upon entering kindergarten. With a little practice, your child can be the shining star in kindergarten in no time!
Remember, however, that these are just some suggestions to get you started. Feel free to use your imagination and get creative, and, most importantly, don’t panic if your child hasn’t mastered everything on the list before August rolls around. As long as your little one practices a number of these activities, this will build her confidence, and you will find (as will her teacher) that she has a strong foundation to build upon, come fall!
— Anne Zachry
About the author: Anne Zachry is a pediatric occupational therapist, wife, and mother of three. She has a PhD in Educational Psychology.
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