9 Skills Your Child Should Master Before They Start Kindergarten

All parents want their kid to be prepared for kindergarten. Heck, I was even thinking about my children’s college careers while they were still in the womb. And many of us turn to preschool and pre-K educational products hoping for an advantage. But the truth is, kindergarten readiness is less about the ABCs and 123s than you might think. What really makes for a successful start to schooling has nothing to do with books, numbers, facts and figures.

Kids should know some basic life skills before their first day of school. Luckily, teaching these skills and concepts aren’t as difficult as they may first seem. In fact, school-readiness skills (like learning to share, showing empathy and even learning how to write your name) are best taught in small doses with repetition over months and without pressuring your child.

Credit: Shutterstock/ Robert Kneschke

Here are 9 skills your child should know before Kindergarten

1. Getting Along With Others

kids playing
Credit: Shutterstock/ Robert Kneschke

Some of the longest lasting friendships begin during a child’s first years in school. Also, by now your child should be know the importance of good manners, sharing, and showing respect and empathy for other people. After all, kids should know that the world doesn’t revolve around them and their needs and that making long lasting friendships are incredibly important.

2. Write Their Names

Credit: Shutterstock/ Zarya Maxim Alexandrovich

Ideally, the children will write their first names from left to right with a capital first letter and the rest lower case. At the very minimum, though, they need to be able to write some form of their first name that is recognizable to the teacher.

3. Basic Chores

child doing chores
Credit: Shutterstock/ Iakov Filimonov

It’s never too early to start helping around the house. Kids ages 4 to 5 should be able to help weed a garden or rake leaves. In addition to taking care of their rooms or personal space, help your kids create a habit of keeping a tidy home. This can include chores like vacuuming, dusting, cleaning and lawn care. Learning that a clean, organized home doesn’t happen magically will go far towards raising a responsible, self-sufficient young adult.

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