Kindergarten is not mandatory in many parts of the world. Many parents would make their child skip a couple of years and enroll him/her to grade 1 straightaway. This thought process stems from the notion that free play is the best way for a child to learn. However, for a child starting formal school directly at grade 1, the entire transition process can be a bit overwhelming. Therefore, kindergarten, not only makes a child accustomed to a more formal learning environment, it also helps the child develop and understand basic concepts that will help him/her excel in the next phase of schooling.
Here are some aspects that a kindergartener learns at school and is familiar with at the end of the session.
Colors: Young children are naturally attracted to colors. So it’s usually the first thing that they imbibe. Identification of basic set of colors is introduced at kindergarten and at the end of the session, children can easily identify upto 10 colors. It’s not too difficult to revisit color identification while at home. Involving children in color themed games or simple conversations in daily life can do wonders.
Shapes: You’d be surprised, how much your child has learnt at kindergarten. Over a period of few months, identifying primary shapes becomes easy. So is sorting and classifying objects based on if they are a circle, square, triangle, rectangle or oval; all thanks to the teaching aids at kindergarten.
Alphabets and phonics: Learning alphabets is the foundation to learning a language and most kindergarteners are pretty proficient in identifying all alphabets of English language and their sounds. Kindergarten teachers are trained to make learning fun and enjoyable. Regular reiteration in class makes children quick to grasp the information.
Simple poems and rhymes: Young children love repetitive and rhyming sounds. Sing-a-long poems and rhymes are easy to remember and fun to recite especially when performed with actions and animated sounds. Your kindergartener will be able to recite quite a few of these at the end of the year.
Numbers and counts: Schools may have different criteria on how much to introduce at kindergarten level, but most would teach numbers up to 30. Not all students may grasp at the same level and some may need more support. However basic concept of counting is understood. Some may start counting random things on fingers if prompted to.
Writing: Toddlers love to scribble therefore writing is mostly introduced by way of crayons. With time, as fine motor skills are more developed, pencils are introduced and so it more structured pattern making like lines and curves. As alphabets are introduced, children may be asked to start identifying sounds and write the alphabet on paper. Later on, 3 letter words with constant, vowel, constant (like cat, hat, dog) are taught with concept of spelling and phonics.
A toddler’s brain is at its maximum learning capacity than it will be in its entire lifetime. It’s no wonder that children learn things at a much faster rate than adults. Most well known kindergarten schools understand the importance of free play and structured learning and ensure that there is a right mix of both at this crucial phase. Some like The Canadian International School extend the learning beyond the classroom through its outdoor centre and STEAM philosophies that encourage learning through curiosity. A kindergarten therefore, becomes an important learning stage for a student, being a great enabler for developing new skills.
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