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Milton Hershey School Teacher Offers 10 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten

By Gary Swanson, Milton Hershey School Kindergarten Teacher

As parents, you want to prepare your child for the challenges that lie ahead. One of the greatest challenges for young students is adjusting to a school environment. Many families have their young children work through skill-based workbooks and worksheets to prepare for the concepts and subjects their children will learn as they begin school. Although any academic practice is wonderful, there are many skills beyond subject knowledge that will help your child to succeed as they enter kindergarten.

Milton Hershey School Elementary Division students sit in the school library.

1. Perseverance

Being OK with failure is what true learning is all about. The only way to learn something new is to fail first. If your child is comfortable with failure, they will have the right mindset to excel.

2. Positive Spirit

The attitude one has about and during learning opportunities, as well as towards others, is important. Positivity makes learning and interactions with others more successful.

3. Ability to Share

One of the staples of the kindergarten age is to build students’ ability to work with others. We create the foundation for sharing by using common materials, cooperative play, and group work.

4. Grace

New students should be prepared to give peers and adults grace. They will be meeting new people and making new friends that come from different backgrounds and might have another perspective than they do.

5. Focus

Being able to have sustained focus on an activity or task is imperative not only for success in the classroom but also for their comprehension of new information.

6. Listening

While this is a harder skill than one would think, it will help your student with accuracy in their work and in their ability to with others efficiently and effectively.

7. Communication

Being able to introduce yourself properly is valuable when meeting peers and adults, and helps your child start and continue meaningful conversations. Social skills will also help them to make connections with peers

8. Experience

The more first-hand experience your child has, the easier new learning will be. Go to museums, go on vacations, take walks, and explore what the world has to offer to expand their worldview.

9. Growth Mindset

As your child is entering a school environment, it is important they are open to learning something new despite challenges, making new friends from different backgrounds, and trying new things and foods.

10. Emotional Readiness

Knowing and being able to use multiple strategies to calm oneself is a critical skill to be successful in the school setting.

While your child can gain valuable knowledge from age-appropriate academic-based learning prior to starting kindergarten, the best way to prepare them for success in school is by developing skills that will serve them for years to come.

Read More about How MHS Cares for the Whole Child

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.