Is your child ready for kindergarten?

As I think of the day that my little guy will step foot in his Kindergarten class for the first time, I know that I won’t be ready to see him growing up so fast. But I wonder: will he be ready? Here is how to get your child (and you!) ready for the big day.

Basic Knowledge
Gone are the days when the first time you laid eyes on the alphabet was when you walked into your first day of the big K. Now days, schools are holding higher standards for kids before they even set foot on campus. Common skills and knowledge expectations include:

• Recognizing and reciting letters and numbers, and the difference between each
• Writing their name with the proper capitalization
• Identifying key shapes and colors
• Matching rhyming words
• Proper use of scissors and pencil hold
• Following two part directions
• Knowledge of first and last name, parents names, address, and phone number
• Ability to dress themselves and tie their own shoes
• Simple social skills such as taking turns and getting along with others

Each school district is different, so make sure to give your babe’s future school a call for the specifics.

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Documentation
In order to register your youngster for Kindergarten, you will need to dig into that filing cabinet and provide the proper documentation. Before heading to the school’s registration office, make sure you have your child’s official birth certificate, social security number, proof of physical from a recent trip to the pediatrician’s office, and documentation of current immunizations. Otherwise, be prepared to be sent to the principal’s office (or at least back home).

Immunizations
Each state has its own set of immunization requirements for kiddies entering daycare, kindergarten, and grade school. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, common vaccination requirements include:

• Diphtheria, Tetanus and acellular Pertussis (DTaP)
• Hepatitis A (Hep A)
• Hepatitis B (Hep B)
• Haemophilus influenzae Type b (Hib)
• Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
• Measles Dose 2
• Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV)
• Polio
• Varicella

The most recent immunization requirements, broken down by state, can be found here at the CDC website.

Birth date cut offs
The cut off date that determines when a child enters Kindergarten varies from state to state. Typical Kindergarten birth date cut offs range from August 15th in Alaska to December 31st in Rhode Island and Hawaii.

School Supplies
With school budget cuts on the rise, some schools require that basic school supplies are provided by the parents of each student for use in the classroom. Some basic supplies include glue, crayons, markers, pencils, scissors, construction paper, zipper sandwich bags, tissue, disinfecting wipes, and more. It’s important to check with your child’s pending school on which supplies are needed. You don’t want your little guy to be the first one sent home with a note pinned to the back of his shirt!

Confidence Now that you’ve successfully completed registration, loaded his backpack with the necessary supplies, and quizzed your little genius to prep him to embark on his educational journey, take a deep breath. You’ll do just fine on his first day of school!

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