Tips & Advice
Are there immunization requirements for kindergarten?
All states have a minimum set of immunization requirements to attend any public schools, beginning with kindergarten. All states require a minimum of vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles and rubella, with 49 states also requiring immunization for mumps. Chicken pox and hepatitis vaccines are also required by most states prior to entering kindergarten. Each state has their own laws, so be sure to educate yourself on your state’s requirements. Some schools might have additional requirements.
Are children required to go to preschool?
There are no states that require preschool. Most states only require that kids begin some kind of formal schooling by the age of 6 (some by the age of 7). While preschool isn’t necessary, it can be a good tool to begin your child’s development in preparation for kindergarten or first grade. It can also be necessary for working parents who need child care so they can work. Preschool is an option, not a legal requirement.
Are there standards for what children learn in preschool?
States and even local communities set their own requirements for preschool, but most of the curriculum is based on developing fundamental skills for the big move to kindergarten. Learning the alphabet, basic shapes and colors, numbers and counting, and social skills all combine to form the foundation for the basic growth skills necessary to prepare your child for kindergarten.
What is the difference between transitional kindergarten and regular kindergarten?
Transitional kindergarten, or TK as it's known, is an academic program that bridges the gap between kindergarten and preschool. Most states and schools require kids to be at least 5 years-old by a certain date to qualify for kindergarten that academic year. If your child is too young;barely missed the minimum age requirement date; or you feel they may not be quite ready academically, physically or socially to take on kindergarten, consider the TK option. TK classes build on the skills learned and developed in preschool in preparing your child for kindergarten or first grade. Your child, depending on their age, can even go right from TK into first grade, if that is the right path for them. Many public schools have TK available for children born in certain timeframe; for kids who aren’t, there are private TK options. It's important to understand that schools and curriculum can vary widely between districts and between public and private schools. Educate yourself on schools in your area to understand your options.
Must children attend kindergarten?
Most states (35) do not require children to attend kindergarten. However, most states do require that children begin attending school by the age of 6, some states by the age of 7. This means attending organized schools or homeschooling. Legally, only a few states require kindergarten. However, kindergarten is a very important time in the development of young children. While not legally required in most states, kindergarten can be a good idea in nurturing essential development of your child.
What are the qualities of a good kindergarten teacher?
There are a lot of different qualities that can make a kindergarten teacher awesome, and patience and flexibility should be near the top of the list. Passion for teaching young minds, creativity, flexibility, warmth, and kindness, are also highly desirable qualities. In addition to strong communications skills, proven experience and a strong working knowledge of child development and current education theories and practices are qualities to look for.
What supplies are needed for kindergarten?
While supply requirements will vary from school-to-school and most teachers will provide a list of essential supplies, here is a list of standard items for kids entering kindergarten: backpack, crayons, No. 2 pencils, eraser, glue sticks, tissues, hand sanitizer, blunt-tip scissors, spiral notebook or equivalent, and a lunch box, maybe even a water bottle. Also, consider extra clothing options in the event of playground wipe outs or spilled milk catastrophes. Be sure you child can tie their shoes, or else provide appropriate footwear they can handle on their own. While most teachers will provide you with a list of essentials, these items should set your child up nicely for kindergarten.
At what age can children start kindergarten?
Most states require that a child is at least 5 years old by September 1st of the school year to enroll in kindergarten. Some states have cut off dates between September 1st and October 15th. These requirements have been set by the individual states, and even individual districts. While some children start at 6 years of age, 5 is the standard minimum admission age for kindergarten, with variable cut-off dates, depending on your area. Kindergarten is not a requirement for children, but being enrolled in school at age 6 is.
What do children learn in kindergarten?
Kindergarten is designed to prepare students for first grade. The curriculum is focused on the basics, like language and math. Students should be learning the alphabet, sight words, and writing skills. Understanding basic concepts of addition and subtraction are also standard. Creatively they should be grasping colors and shapes and task completion. They should also be developing basic social skills through interactions and activities with other kids in the classroom and on the playground. Curriculums will vary based on the school and teacher, but in most cases, there are national Common Core standards implemented in any public school classroom.