The Kindergarten Bubble
January 15, 2022
The “kindergarten bubble” is another byproduct of the pandemic. Many mstudents did not attend school last year because of the pandemic and some parents are electing to delay the start of kindergarten for their 5 year olds. Some experts are predicting larger-than-usual numbers of children entering kindergarten this coming school year, with greater disparities in ages and skill levels.
Even with the bubble, there is no reason to worry. If your child attended a program with a standards-based curriculum, they should be in great shape.
Preschool programs like Kiddie Academy are designed to introduce and facilitate activities that develop the skills needed for kindergarten. For example, the Kiddie Academy Life Essentials® curriculum helps children focus on skills that include writing, math, literacy, building independence, developing fine motor skills, growing social skills, learning to follow directions and character values. And there are also opportunities to get them involved educational programs this summer, like our CampVentures® program. This is a great way to narrow some of those learning gaps and get kids back on track with the socialization they may have missed out on during the pandemic.
The truth about kindergarten readiness
Bubble aside, there are some important things to know regarding kindergarten readiness in general:
- It is not necessary that children be able to read before entering kindergarten. While being able to read full sentences is not usually a requirement, phonemic awareness does help develop strong early literacy. That’s why we teach children rudimentary skills like recognizing letters and sounds and reading sight words.
- There is not one determining factor on whether your child is ready for kindergarten. Every child will reach his or her developmental milestones at a different pace. Some children will master many skills during their kindergarten year. By the time children enter kindergarten and after, they will be well on their way to developing the physical, mental and emotional attributes that will help them throughout an academic career.
- There are key readiness skills that will make the beginning of kindergarten easier for your child and help your kindergartener transition to school. Some examples include being able to count to 10, recognition of alphabet letters and sounds, holding a pencil, forming letters, ability to speak in complete sentences and show an interest in books and stories. Social skills are equally important to work on. Things like managing emotions, feeling and showing empathy, making good decisions and following directions will help your child’s transition into kindergarten. Don’t be concerned if your child doesn’t have them all before they start kindergarten, they will continue to develop the skills throughout the year.
- It is normal for children to enter this first formal learning experience at varying developmental stages. In fact, according to the United States Department of Education, students will enter kindergarten with a range of different academic skills and learning behaviors. This is due to the fact that young children experience various types of early care and education environments the year before they enter kindergarten and will be coming from a variety of different early childhood experiences.
- Respect your child’s feelings. Some children are ready to jump into kindergarten feet first. Others, though, may be more nervous or anxious – it depends on their temperaments. That’s okay. Validate their feelings and let them ask questions. And stay positive! Children are very good at reading your moods.