A recent MSNBC article shows the pressure some parents feel to make sure their kids succeed in kindergarten. But hiring a tutor is going to extremes.
“School readiness is not about a 5-year-old walking into kindergarten knowing how to read and add. Those kinds of expectations put undue stress on parents and can overwhelm children,” says Gerry Cobb, Director of Smart Start’s National Technical Assistance Center. “What children really need to know are some basic social skills, how to take care of themselves and how to express their needs. Talking to your child about what to expect can also ease their anxiety and make the experience a positive one.”
Smart Start, North Carolina’s nationally-recognized early childhood initiative, offers a guide to help parents prepare their 3 to 5-year-olds to start school. “Ready, Set, Go: A Journey to Kindergarten Calendar” is a calendar-style guide showing how to turn everyday activities like baking, going to the park or visiting the library into learning opportunities for children. It also has practical tips such as making sure a child knows his name and phone number, can use the toilet, knows how to wash his or her hands and uses the buddy system when riding the bus. This is recommended reading for any parent with a preschool-age child.