kindergarten studentNational data has consistently demonstrated challenges in early education, including kindergarten readiness. Murray City School District has been proactively addressing this for the last two years to help our littlest littles.

This includes data-driven strategies, early intervention programs, a commitment to equitable access to learning opportunities, promoting active parental engagement, and continuous adaptations to address the unique needs of each child. Ultimately, we are seeking a solid foundation for a successful educational journey.

According to data recently released by Curriculum Associates, that includes a national sampling of K-2 students from 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023 in math and reading, there has been a slip in readiness between now and pre-COVID metrics. In some sub-sets educators in Murray and elsewhere are beginning to see that rebound.

How Can Pre-K Parents Get Kids Ready?

Reading Together: Encourage a love for reading by regularly reading with your child. Choose a variety of books that expose them to different concepts, language, and storytelling styles. Discuss the story, characters, and ask open-ended questions to promote comprehension and critical thinking skills.

Develop Fine Motor Skills: Strengthening fine motor skills is crucial for kindergarten readiness. Engage in activities like drawing, coloring, cutting with child-safe scissors, and practicing basic writing skills. These activities enhance hand-eye coordination and support the development of essential motor skills needed for tasks like holding a pencil.

Encourage Independence: Foster self-help skills to promote independence. Teach your child to dress themselves, use the restroom independently, and manage personal belongings. These skills are not only practical for the kindergarten setting but also boost your child’s confidence and sense of responsibility.

Counting and Basic Math Concepts: Introduce basic counting and math concepts through everyday activities. Count objects during play, involve them in simple cooking measurements, and explore patterns and shapes. These informal experiences lay the groundwork for early math skills that will be expanded upon in kindergarten.

Social Skills and Following Directions: Help your child develop essential social skills by engaging in playdates, group activities, or preschool settings. Emphasize sharing, taking turns, and resolving conflicts peacefully. Additionally, practice following simple instructions to prepare them for classroom expectations and routines.

Lastly, kindergarten teachers in Utah are seeing an alarming number of children entering kindergarten that are not potty trained. This creates a huge distraction from learning and is not healthy for children. In fact Utah is presently considering legislation that, in passed in the 2024 Session, would require it by law.

Parents should feel encouraged that all these tips are easily incorporated into routine schedules with children. But they do require an investment in time and commitment to children. These strategies will pave a positive path for children – their ability to connect with peers, learn to learn, and thrive as adults.

By the way, Kindergarten registrations will begin at Murray Schools in March. Go here to see the dates and times for each school.