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Support and Advice from TNPC's Parenting Experts





When your child is ready to enter kindergarten it is essential that you as a parent are comfortable with the school that he will be going to. An excellent checklist that will tell you what to look for can be found in the pamphlet “Early Years and Learning Years“ published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. (NAEYC 800-424-2460)
* Children are busy playing and working with learning materials or other children, not aimlessly wandering or forced to sit quietly for long periods.
* The setting will include various learning centers such as block building, pretend play, books, art, math and science materials and table toys.
* Teachers work with individual children, groups of children and the whole group at different times during the day.
* Children’s own art and literacy/dictation is predominately displayed.
* Children learn numbers and the alphabet mainly through everyday, hands on experiences and projects, not dittos, rote drills and worksheets.
* Children have at least one hour a day to explore, problem solve, and discover in learning centers. Workbooks are not the primary daily activity.
* Children have the opportunity for fresh air and active play outdoors every day that the weather permits.
* Teachers read books and use a variety of storytelling and literacy techniques throughout the day.
* Curriculum is adapted for those who are both ahead of the group and behind; different learning styles are accommodated.
* Children look forward to school; parents are welcome. Classrooms will vary, but the focus will be on hands on learning and the development of the whole child.
For more information, consider reading “Kindergarten Policies: What is Best for Children“ (NAEYC; $6.00) and “The Kindergarten Survival Handbook“ by Allana Elovson (Parent Ed Resources; 12.95)
Now…is your child curious and eager to learn new things? Can he separate from you fairly easily? Can he express his ideas and feelings with words? Does he like to hear stories and talk about them? Can he work with others and take turns? Can he take care of self help tasks? (dressing, going to the toilet, meals) Does he have a handle on his personal safety? Can he follow directions, and manage waiting times without frustration or aggression? If so, he is ready for a good kindergarten that is ready for him.

Evelyn Petersen’s nationally syndicated parenting column is carried in over 200 newspapers twice each week. As a family/parenting consultant, early childhood educator, Head Start consultant, and host of a series of parent training audio and video tapes, Ms. Petersen employs an approach of providing hands-on, nuts and bolts advice to parents across the country.Evelyn Petersen’s nationally syndicated parenting column is carried in over 200 newspapers twice each week. As a family/parenting consultant, early childhood educator, Head Start consultant, and host of a series of parent training audio and video tapes, Ms. Petersen employs an approach of providing hands-on, nuts and bolts advice to parents across the country. You can read more from Evelyn at her web site: www.askevelyn.com

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