What should children know before entering kindergarten?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 40,559
    Parenting educator Dr. Rene Hackney reviews the skills a typical entering kindergartener has and how parents can best prepare for the transition.

    Rene Hackney

    Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.

    For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide

    range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.

    Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.

    Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.

    Rene Hackney: I am Dr. Rene Hackney, I own and teach at Parenting Playgroups which is a parent resource center in Alexandria, Virginia. We offer a wide range of parenting program and play programs for children. I do have a Masters in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology. Along the way I train at children s hospital and for the public school.

    Host: What should children know before entering kindergarten?

    Rene Hackney: When a child is entering kindergarten there are lots of things to consider. There was a study done a few years ago asking kindergarten teachers what was important for children to know and also entering into kindergarten parents asking them what was important for children to know. The interesting thing was that teachers and parents very widely on what they thought was important. Parents really consider that the academic readiness that a child could count to 10, that they knew their numbers, that they knew they letters, was very important while kindergarten teachers say That is our job we will teach it to them. So, while some kindergarten teachers thought it was important, it was far fewer of the teachers been off the parents. There was a same split with the behaviors, the parents thought it was terribly important, up to 80% of parents thought it was important that children could stand in line, that they could wait for a turn that they could sit at circle and listen. The kindergarten teachers while about 20% of them thought it was important, they said We will teach it to them, just send them on. So parents seem to think that these things are much more important than many of the teachers. Now, it is much easier for the teachers that the kids coming in have those skills. So, it is looking at the behavior and the academics.