Saving Money on Preschool: Readiness Skills Needed for Kindergarten

As a mom of 4 who's youngest child is about to start Kindergarten this Fall, I'd like to share with you some things I've learned about Preschool over the last ten years, along with a list of readiness skills every child can be learning at home - whether attending Preschool or not.

Preschools, especially those taught in a church environment, are a wonderful resource that help prepare children for regular school. Not to mention they also provide social interaction with children of the same age, and for a few hours each week, a much-needed break for Mom. Overall, we highly recommend them!

There's just one catch - Preschool is expensive!

Though I truly enjoyed successfully homeschooling our first child for preschool in 1994, by the time our next child was ready for preschool (in 1998) I also had a toddler at home (our third child), and another shortly on the way. My husband and I decided it was definitely time for some help, and somehow we managed to put our second child through preschool, as well as the third. And the fourth - as I've already mentioned, will be graduating this year.

If you'd like to send your child to Preschool but would like to keep the costs down, try finding a school that offers just two days a week, that's what we did. Of course homeschooling would cost even less, but we realize that's not an option for everyone - especially working moms.

Whether you choose to home-preschool your child or send him/her to a local Preschool on a part-time basis, here's a suggested list of academic, physical and social skills every preschooler should be learning. If your child will be attending Kindergarten in the fall it would be a good idea to continue working on these things over the summer. Kindergarten is a lot tougher than it was even a few years ago, so the more prepared your child is the better off he/she will be!

You will find that Kindergarten Readiness lists will vary but this is a great list that covers the basics.

Academic Skills

  • Say the alphabet

  • Recognize own name, and letters in name

  • Recognize as many letters as possible (A-Z)

  • Count to 10

  • Recognize numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

  • Count items

  • Name the basic colors (blue, red, yellow, purple, green, orange, white, brown, black)

Physical Skills

  • Care for personal needs (Use restroom, wash hands, fasten clothes, wipe nose, etc.)

  • Catch item tossed underhand

  • Walk up and down stairs

  • Use pencils and crayons

  • Use scissors & glue stick

  • Stack blocks

  • Put toys and class items where they belong

Social Skills (These are always a work in progress!)

  • Shares and takes turns

  • Sits quietly and listens in group setting

  • Follows directions

  • Demonstrates good manners while eating

  • Respects other students and adults

  • Respects other's belongings and class items

  • Expresses thoughts and feelings clearly

And a Note About Reading.

Depending on your local school system, children now begin reading in either Preschool or Kindergarten. It is very important that your child be familiar with the letters of the alphabet and if possible, even the sounds each one makes. Knowing the letters will make the transition to reading much easier.

Throughout the early school years, teachers will often remind you how important it is to read to your children every day. You can make it a special time by letting the child choose the book to be read, and ask them questions about the story as you go - this will also help them develop good comprehension skills, which are needed throughout life.

Enjoy these early years together, they grow up so fast!

Copyright 2004 by Michelle Jones

About The Author

Michelle Jones, author of Dealing with Debt and publisher of Living a Better Life: The Money-Saving Tips Ezine, is a frugal mother of 4 who's dedicated to helping families live a better life, not by spending more money, but less! If you'd like a free subscription to her monthly Ezine please visit www.BetterBudgeting.com for more information.

[email protected]

In The News:


WTNH Connecticut News (press release)

Parenting to raise healthy, happy eaters
WTNH Connecticut News (press release)
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Many parents are unaware that their parenting style has implications for their child's diet quality and weight. But depending on the style, their child is five times as likely to become overweight or obese. This morning Susie ...


AL.com

Bo knows parenting
AL.com
The featured speaker for the Baldwin County Drug Court Foundation's eighth annual fundraiser on Thursday night couldn't speak about drug court from personal experience, saying, "That's something I never had to go through." But the folks who gathered at ...


Mashable

Youtuber solves all your parenting problems with a really bad idea ...
Mashable
We live in a digital age, so forget about the struggles of a stroller or carrier. Let your baby reach for the stars and discover new heights...literally. Youtuber ...

and more »

Co-parenting after divorce is possible
The Hillsdale Daily News
As a combat veteran who served our nation for 10-years in the United States Army, Sept. 11 means many things to me. I typically spend a majority of my day on Sept. 11 every year watching documentaries about the tragedies that unfolded on that day in ...


Rural Parenting: Opioid addiction more prevalent in rural areas
The Daily News Online
This month marks National Opioid Recovery Month. As a country, we are in the midst of a terrible opioid epidemic. Both in my position as a social worker, working with exploited and vulnerable women and families, and in my personal experiences, I have ...


HuffPost

Bill Murray's Parenting Wisdom Is Spot On
HuffPost
The actor and comedian has six sons ― 35-year-old Homer, 32-year-old Luke, 24-year-old Cal, 21-year-old Jackson, 20-year-old Cooper and 16-year-old Lincoln. In honor of his birthday on Thursday, we've rounded up some of his best parenting tips and ...


Axios

New parenting trend: texting kids from inside the house
Axios
New parenting trend: texting kids from inside the house. A mother and daughter prefer to text each other inside the home. Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast / AP. "Some parents, spouses, teenagers ... are finding that texting [each other inside the same house ...


Washington Post

Parenting books won't end your anxiety. Here's what to do instead ...
Washington Post
Q: As a general rule, I manage my parenting anxiety by not reading parenting books. It's too much contradictory information, and I get nuts about it. I've found that ...

and more »

HuffPost

Mom's Hilarious Saga Of A Forgotten Poster Board Sums Up ...
HuffPost
In parenting, sometimes it's the tiniest moments that sum up the joys of having children ... or how much they make you want to bang your head against the wall.

and more »

U.S. News & World Report

What Parenting Can – and Cannot – Do
U.S. News & World Report
The dangers of abusive and neglectful parenting are now well-known. Children who don't experience unconditional love nor have their needs met on a consistent basis are likely to struggle with relationships. Such deprivation affects the development of ...

Google News

How Many Sex Offenders Live On Your Block?

For any parent, learning that a convicted sex offender lives... Read More

Parents Dealing with Worry and Fear

Dear Vijay,I worry about not being a good parent. My... Read More

Handling Failure -- Teaching Kids How to Profit From It

There is nothing pleasant about failure, at least not at... Read More

Children and Mom and Paper

Memorabilia ? Children can create enough artwork for an entire... Read More

Parents - Create An Emotionally Healthy Connection With Your Child

"I could have helped you if I would have known,... Read More

How To Foster An Environment For Successful Communications With Your Child

As parents, we strive to address all of the questions... Read More

6 Tried & True Fun Ways to Educate and Entertain Your Preschooler

1. New Word of the DayIntroduce your preschooler to a... Read More

The Hardest Job I Ever Had

I used to have a really challenging job. It was... Read More

Americas Public School System --- Brutal and Spartan

The public school system in America has become a dismal... Read More

New Baby ? Relax and Become a Yummy Mummy

Lets face it becoming a mum is a bit of... Read More

The Old and the New

During one "generation gap" quarrel with his parents young Michael... Read More

Registering a Birth in Scotland

Who Can Register A Birth? The child's mother... Read More

Do You Have the Loving Relationship With Your Children That You Desire?

Most people with children want to be good parents. The... Read More

Time, Stress, and a Baby

The main thing we noticed since having a baby is... Read More

7 Ways Busy Families Can Volunteer

Volunteering together is a fantastic way to spend time as... Read More

Hearing Our Seriously Distressed Children

How do we deal with our seriously distressed children and... Read More

Screaming Kids Driving You Nuts? Four Rules to Help You Keep Your Sanity!

Often I will hear parents say, "I just ignore Jr.... Read More

Is a Mothers Love, Medicine?

Minus all meningitis thoughts. The flu symptons were strong. Headache,... Read More

EEG Biofeedback Training as a Treatment Option for ADHD

The popularity of EEG Biofeedback Training continues to grow both... Read More

Three Tips to Get Children with Sleeping Problems Asleep

According to the American Sleep Association 70% of all babies... Read More

Bird Flu Pandemic

What are the easiest things citizens can do to prevent... Read More

Top Three Ways To Communicate With Your Child

Although many parents become frustrated as they try to maintain... Read More

Jammin with Your Kids: The Wonderful World of Music

Does music need to be "dumbed-down" for kids? The answer... Read More

Teaching Problem Solving Skills to Children with ADHD

Even though the "Stop and Think" movement in ADHD treatment... Read More

Breastfeed a Toddler - Why?

Is your baby approaching his or her first birthday and... Read More