Top 10 Non-Academic Skills to Teach Your Child Before Kindergarten

       I have been a Kindergarten teacher for 11 years. Over the years, I have noticed that parents and teachers alike have placed an importance on preparing students academically for Kindergarten. Of course, this is a good thing! But there are also many non-academic skills that are just as important for our kids to know when they enter school. Many of these are life skills that are going untaught, as Kindergarten now has such an intense academic focus.  Below I have listed the top ten non-academic skills that I would like to see all parents focus on with their incoming Kindergarteners.

  1. Proper hand-washing that involves soap, water, and enough time to get the hands clean                    
  2. Independently dressing oneself. (including zipping zippers, buttoning buttons, and tying shoes).   
  3. Sharing toys and objects with other children.                  
  4. The proper way to hold a pencil/marker/crayon, and the amount of pressure to use when     writing/coloring.
  5. Personal information such as their first and last name, their address, their phone number, and what allergies they have, if any.
  6. Transitioning to another safe adult for a short separation from parents.
  7. Holding scissors and cutting a straight line without difficulty.
  8. Opening food packages, lunch boxes, and backpacks independently.
  9. Sitting still and quiet for at least 5 minutes at a time while listening to a story.
  10. How to respectfully self advocate when an item is needed or there is a conflict with another child.

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