Taking Care of Needs

Apr 03

Expectations for taking care of one’s own needs will vary a little in each different classroom, but it really is the basic concept of can you take care of yourself during the school day. I don’t mean take care of yourself as in your on your own, but does your child have those basic developmentally skills that will make their life a little less frustrating while they are without you at school each day. Some of the skills that will help your child everyday at school include:

Being able to zip and button their coat. Every kindergarten classroom has different expectations for this skill. I help kids who cannot zip their jacket or have a friend help them before they go outside. But some of you are going to run into classrooms where your child is going to be going outside without their coat zipped if they cannot do it by themselves. So work on it now so your child can take care of the jackets and their pants.

  • Tying shoes. The nice thing about kids shoes is if your child can not tie their own shoe by the time they start kindergarten they can wear Velcro shoes. My own sons absolutely wore Velcro in kinder. Tying shoes is a skill you can continue to work on at home but if your child can not tie before that first day of school I would suggest sending them with shoes that buckle or use Velcro.
  • Wash and dry your hands. Can your child be in charge of washing and drying their own hands? This is important for lunch time and art. The district I work for does not allow hand sanitizer, just good old soap and water. So kids need to be able to wash their hands without making to big of a mess at the sink area.
  • Putting things away. Practice putting things on hooks or away in cubbie like containers. In my classroom students are required to keep their coats in their backpacks whenever they are not wearing them. (It helps to prevent the spread of lice when they inevitably come around each school year). My students have to be able to get that coat into their backpack, zip it up and put it on the hook by themselves. If this is a rule in your school please practice with them beforehand.
  • Takes care of personal belongings and the belongings of others. I always try to discourage students from bringing anything extra to school. It just breaks my heart when they lose it or it is stolen on a bus. But sometimes things show up anyway. Can your child take care of their stuff, understanding that they should not give it to a friend and then expect it back, do they understand not to draw on furniture or cut their own hair with the scissors, etc.
  • Clean up after themselves. Can your child help clean up either with a little help or completely by themselves? Examples: putting away their crayons and scissors, closing the glue bottle when they are finished, leaving a paint bush in the pain container.

Every teacher and/or school will have their own set of standards when it comes to children taking care of themselves and their belongings. If you can find out early what those expectations will be and practice them with your child, it will make their transition into school smoother. If your child is not able to take care of their own needs please talk to your teacher and school honestly from the start. We are there to help both you and your child transition into a formal school setting. We really want to see your child succeed and enjoy their kindergarten experience.


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