Preparing for Kindergarden

Updated on August 22, 2012
M.F. asks from Larkspur, CO
15 answers

Hi Moms
I am looking for a book or curriculum for my 16th mth that will help him when he starts Pre School and Kindergarden. Do you know of an online program or book that can help me with this?

Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Yes Hazel, You are correct...and thank you for being kind!!!!!!
To all the other Moms you sure come across rude.... I already read to him a ton, I am just looking for other ideas, we get bored around here that is all!! Sheesh, so quick to jump down my throat, first time for everything I guess.

Curriculum obviously was the wrong word, Kill me why don't ya!!!

Will be sure to be aware of the Mean Beans next time I ask for advice!

Featured Answers



answers from Seattle on

Ooh. Slow down there mama. He's 16 months old. Let him be a kid for at least a year or two before the prepping for Harvard.

How do you prepare him for preschool and K? Play with him. Read and sing to him. Love him.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Columbus on

ETA: My goodness, M.! While some did say things rather harshly, I think your answer is rather rude! I certainly wasn't being rude to you! I was genuinely reaching out to answer your question. You asked for help and I offered it, not to be rude but to help. I will be sure not to offer help to you again, because while you might be accusing other people of being rude, you just came across as a real jerk.

And by the way, I was curious what kinds of responses you've given to other people on mamapedia, and the very first one I clicked on was filled with all caps screaming, ending with telling the poster she and her husband didn't deserve to be parents, all because they said their son wasn't "aggressive." You have serious issues!

Original answer:
I know you're trying to do your best for your child, but your post makes me sad. I think we push our kids way too young. I have a 10 year old and an 8 year old and what I wouldn't give for those days of sitting and reading together and playing together. Both my kids have identified as gifted and talented, and I didn't do programs with them. I spent time talking to them, playing on the floor with them, reading to them, going for walks, taking trips to the zoo and the museum and other places, and just loving on each other. When they were two, I took them to the library, where there were toddler games loaded onto the computers for them to play to identify colors, etc., but it wasn't to teach them as much as to entertain them. What they need most of all is attention from the adults who love them, not gadgets and definitely not a curriculum. Kindergarten will come soon enough.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

there are a zillion books/programs of the type you're looking for. i would advise against them. let him be a baby (you are saying he's 16 months old, right?) and don't push him. he will learn naturally. spend time with him, teaching him names of things, and colors. what animals say. babies are naturally curious, so when he shows interest in something, explain what it is (example - he gets excited when he sees a dog. "honey do you like that dog? can you say DOG? do you like his brown fur! it's soft isn't it! what does a dog say?"). that's where he is right now. and make it FUN - no drills or quizzes. he's a baby, let him be. when he gets older (like 3, 4) he will naturally start noticing things like letters, numbers, and you can help him identify them and teach them what the letters say, just as part of normal conversation - NOT as part of a "program".

yeah...honestly not sure who you're directing the "mean" comments to or not...but um... i wasn't, and neither was anyone else from what i could see. *shrugs*....

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

No. He is 16 MONTHS old. He doesn't need a book or online program to help him prepare.

He simply needs you talking him through his world and reading fun stories throughout the day and as bedtime stories.

ETA: After your SWH: Perhaps if you were a bit more careful about how you worded your question you would have received responses more in line with what you were looking for. What you ASKED, was for "a book or curriculum for my 16th mth" ... not for information about what to get later on WHEN he is about to go into kinder. When you ask a poorly worded question, don't blame the ladies who respond to THAT question for answering THAT question.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

There is so much you can do on a daily basis WITHOUT a "curriculum" ....

Sit with him... play with him... read to him... sing to him.....take him places.....

involve him in YOUR daily activities....

At this point, let him be a CHILD!

Most of my kids were on the GT spectrum...... I didn't do any kind of "fancy" curriculum or "teach your baby to read" programs..... but they were allowed to be a child!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Book or curriculum? Seriously? He's a baby!!! The best thing you can do is play with him, read read read to him, spend time with him! Let him be a baby!! Then come back in about a year and we'll talk!!!

And one additional thing - I would at least learn how to spell KINDERGARTEN!!!!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Babies are too young for online programs, they learn by doing and observing. You may want to go to the library and check out a few books on early childhood development and education, I think that would give you some insight.
Talk to him, sing and do finger plays with him and read, read, read!!!
Take him out for walks, work in the dirt, have him help you in the kitchen. Point out colors and sounds and counting, do you want two or three orange slices? one, two, three! Take him to the park and other places where he has a chance to be around other kids and adults. When he's about three let him watch Sesame Street every day (not only entertaining but HIGHLY educational!)
In preschool (usually age 3/4) he will learn the social and motor skills he needs for kindergarten, and in kindergarten he'll learn the basic academic skills he needs for first grade.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on


I see what you are asking-- for a program for WHEN your son is around 3-5, is that correct?

I'm a preschool teacher. First, do not worry about 'preparing' for preschool. What your child will need to start preschool is self-help skills and the ability to follow directions. This means that instead of academics, plan on working with your child to ensure they can take off/put on their clothes, help them learn to use the toilet on their own, to ask for help politely when necessary. Teach your child good discipline at home so that they are able to follow the teacher's directions.

A good preschool program is going to focus on self-help, self-regulation and socialization skills foremost for two reasons: A. these are the areas which kindergarten teachers need children to have the most prep in so that they can teach the academics AND B. many children are developmentally 'ready' to absorb academics by kindergarten, but some, not really too much before this age.

Check out some of MaryAnn Kohl's activity books like Preschool Art or Math Art (which explores mathematic concepts through art as opposed to 'teaching' math). Usborne has fun Science with Water/Magnets books.

In my years of working with kids, I've never used a curriculum, always creating them for the specific group of children I had in order to play to their interests and abilities. That said, there are preschool websites which would suggest fun 'theme' activities to try. Enchanted Learning is one of them; they have a lot of good resources on that site.

It is my opinion that kids need as much screen-free time growing up as possible. All the research I have read suggests that tangible, real-life learning opportunities are best for children. Kids will benefit more from hands-on manipulatives like alphabet refrigerator magnets, play dough, building toys like blocks (essential, in my opinion), paper and markers and crayons and scissors, lots of outside time and as little television/screen time as possible. Kids watch us to see what is important in the world, so being sure to ask open-ended questions to kindle their curiosity is important. ("I wonder, if I put this rock in the bucket, will it stay at the top and float or sink to the bottom?" "Oh, look at that nest up in the tree? Who do you think lives there? How do you think it got there?" )

Keep the subject matter simple and something relevant to them. This means Bugs, Colors, transportation, families, food, the beach, the zoo/animals, farms, the library, the garden... keep the subject matter on their level and let the child have fun. Save boring old direct instruction for his teachers... let yourself be a mom who teaches through having fun moments together. This is how to foster a 'love of learning'.

One last, a favorite quote from one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Roger: "Do you know, when you wonder,you're learning? Do you know, when you marvel, you're learning?" He 'got' how kids learned. His is one of the few tv shows which I actually think are a benefit to children, by the way.:)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Follow your child's lead. Talk, sing, and read to him a lot! Give him lots of hands on experiences with open ended toys/activities like building blocks, puppets, dress up costumes, time outside, etc. Let him be a kid and explore his world. And read, read, read to him. Let him get to know and love books. You don't need to teach him to read, just develop a love and appreciation for books.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

He is 16 months old and you are looking to "prepare" him for kindergarten? Just do what comes naturally. Love him unconditionally, read, sing, play with him, let him figure things out on his own, expose him to new experiences, and most of all give him opportunities to succeed. I mean, really, does the kid even talk yet?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Play, play, play! :)

No academics, in the "school sense."

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I think just reading often to your child will help prepare him. For both our kids we read read read starting at a very young age. Once they get a little older (2 - 3) I will point out letters, or take my finger and underline the words as I read them. I will sometimes do a little phonics work as we read. We also do puzzles and we practice counting at a young age. You can get a kid's educational music cd from the library and listen to it in the car...practicing the alphabet and other songs that help kids learn. Just keep it fun! When we are out in public we point out letters we see and words (this is a skill 2.5 to 3 year olds start doing). We do a play-based preschool with both kids which is about learning through play and learning good socialization skills. There is no academics involved. Our son was very prepared going into Kindergarten. Personally, I would not worry about doing a curriculum. They will have many many years of schoolwork ahead of them in life. When they are young just practice learning in every day activities and songs and play. Our daughter is in preschool now and we are doing these things with her. Just keep reading to your child every day!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I really like what Hazel had to say about preschool. I was a SAHM mom when my oldest turned 3. My husband was not 100% on board with sending him to preschool. His thought was that he will be in school until he's in his 20's, so why rush it. I told my husband that I wanted him to go to preschool to learn how to socialize with kids his own age, learn how to listen to an adult that isn't his mommy or daddy (or relative), learn how to be ok without me there for just a couple of hours twice a week, etc. What he needed at 3 was socialization and to develop more independence.

My point is, preschool is not really so much about academics. It's really more about preparing the kids for academia.

You've already gotten many, many answers about the importance of reading to your child and talking to your child and other ideas for helping your child grow and develop naturally during this toddler stage. As you and your child explore the world together, he will continue to feel safe and secure with you. Because he feels safe and secure with you and because you are exploring the world with him, he will begin to want to explore the world a little more independently. That is very important, and that is what he needs to begin preschool.

Just keep doing what you're doing, and he will have a great start.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

He doesn't need a curriculum right now. Reading is the best thing you can do for him. At that age my daughter loved building blocks. This helps with hand and eye coordination. I also got her educational toys that said the ABC' s and counted. Don't push him too hard right now. He's still a baby so let him be a baby for a while. Believe me when babyhood is gone it's gone so enjoy him.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You could try looking at the Baby Einstein products. I think they are geared for kids your son's age.

I agree with the others that the most important things to teach your son at this stage is the ability to function in a group setting and follow instructions. To develop that, perhaps routinely taking him to story time at the library, or other group activities that you can do with him that are somewhat structured.

When he gets to be about 3, search your public library's website and see if they subscribe to Mango Languages. It is a great foreign language website and it's free as long as you have a library card. At 3 your son will be ripe for learning a foreign language and he will absord it like a sponge!

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