The quality of academic subject matter has been emphasized across the elementary school platform in recent years. But in kindergarten, the emphasis on academics is a bit newer. Whether you agree with this approach or not, the fact is that kindergarten is your child’s first experience of “real” school. Kindergarteners learn lessons in that first year that are not in the books. These are skills they will take with them into their subsequent school experience.
Here are things children learn in kindergarten that you may not have known about.
1. Paying Attention
In kindergarten, children learn to listen and pay attention to the teacher and, depending on how the classroom is set up, to pay attention to their peers.
2. Following Directions
Kindergarten involves following directions. It’s essential for the classroom to run smoothly, so teachers usually make sure it happens. For academic success, following directions is key.
3. Relationship Skills
When kindergarteners are put in to a classroom together, they learn how to interact. If your child did not go to preschool, then this may be the first time he or she is in a group of peers. Relationship skills are important, and in kindergarten, children learn the basics like cooperation, resolving conflicts, asking for help, and dealing with social pressure (especially if it involves feeling pressured to do something the child feels or knows is wrong).
A kindergartener begins to learn how he or she feels about things. He begins to see where his interests and preferences lie, and starts seeing some strengths and weaknesses. He’ll develop favorite activities and there will be others he doesn’t like as well. Hopefully, this self-awareness will underpin a healthy self-confidence.
5. Making Decisions
Decision-making is a very important life skill, and your child will begin learning how to make decisions based on realistic consequences. In kindergarten, children can make decisions based on social norms (which they are also learning) and respect for others.
6. Social Awareness
Part of self-awareness for your kindergartener involves social awareness. He begins to perceive the emotions and sensibilities of others, and empathy begins to develop. He starts seeing the place of family, school, and community.
This is a crucial skill in academia as well as in life outside of school. Self-management means your child learns to regulate impulses and emotional responses to stress. In other words, he learns to control himself to accommodate social and classroom expectations.