The beginning of a new school year is always an exciting time, as students stock up on school supplies, meet new teachers, and catch up with friends. But for families of students entering kindergarten, this transition can be filled with lots of extra hopes, worries, and plans.
That’s why the Early Childhood School at the Mayerson JCC starts early when talking to families about getting ready for kindergarten. At first, the conversations are general. Beginning in the two- to three-year-old (Toddler) classrooms, Early Childhood School staff meet with families twice a year. During these conferences, staff members share with families how their child is doing in their classroom and establish two skill-development goals to work on, both in school and at home. Goals could include drinking out of a cup or inviting a peer to play with them.
By the time the child reaches the fall of their four-year-old (Preschool/Pre-K) classroom, families should start thinking about where they would like their child to attend kindergarten in the fall of their four-year-old year. Many private schools release applications around this time with due dates sometime in the winter, so it’s a good time to start planning.
Schools in Ohio typically use the Early Learning Standardsas a guide to see if a child is well prepared for kindergarten, though each school, and each teacher, can look at each child differently. Some schools weigh academic preparedness more than social-emotional preparedness. Some schools combine these factors to look at the whole child.
The Early Childhood School at the Mayerson JCC encourages families to look at a wide range of skills when thinking about sending their child to kindergarten, including academics (name writing, letter and numeral recognition, shape knowledge, etc.) as well as how students build relationships with peers and adults, how students handle change, and their developing communication skills. This whole-child approach ensures that children are well equipped for a happy and successful transition to kindergarten.
To learn more about the J’s Early Childhood School, click here.