Learn Before Kindergarten?

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten was a famous, fabulous book by Robert Fulghum.  Its premise is that if you learned many life lessons in kindergarten, you were pretty much good to go into a big bright future.

What if our kids learned them before kindergarten?  What if they could learn many of these life lessons and social skills before kindergarten?  We are not talking about academics, but about how to navigate their day, their choices and friends successfully.

What are some of the things kindergarten teachers wished kids knew how to do before making the classroom experience easier?  Being a kindergarten teacher for many years and talking to many, there are things that can really help a child be more successful.

Let’s list a few……. these are things you can start when they are toddlers.

Delayed Gratification

This is useful in a classroom setting because some schools have 27 five year olds with one teacher.  The kids who can wait their turn and resist falling apart when they are not first will be able to handle situations better.

At a birthday party of 5 year old, the one little boy that was a guest wanted to have the first piece of cake, first crack at the piñata and first to get a goodie bag.  His mother made excuses about why it was too hard for him to wait.  She said his birthday was only a few weeks ago, so he didn’t understand waiting, as she gave him what he wanted.

We can do our kids a favor by delaying things, “Not just yet, but in a few minutes.” (don’t forget) or “You will have to wait your turn.”

Being Responsible For Their Own Mistakes

This is useful so the teacher doesn’t have to follow kids around to have them clean up after them or try and decipher when both children yell – “It is not my fault!”

Being Responsible For Their Own Things

This one learned early saves many a trip to the lost and found.  It saves you from having to drive home to get the forgotten backpack or library book.

On the second day of Kindergarten, our Jesse forgot his backpack.  He tearfully looked at us and said, “We need to go home.”  One of the hardest things I had to say was that we could not because we were teaching a class.  He was sad and tearful as we dropped him off.  (I was sad and tearful as well – man, 2nd day of kindergarten!)

However, the next morning when I woke up, he had his backpack on over his pajamas.  “I am never going to forget my backpack again!” he informed me.  And guess what, he never has.

Wouldn’t it be great if they learned this before kindergarten?

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