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Transition from Pre-Kindergarten to Kindergarten

A Link to Easing the Transition from Pre-Kindergarten to Kindergarten Over the years, the number of children joining early childhood programs such as pre-kindergarten classes and child care centers has increased. Hence, the transition from preschool to kindergarten has been a concern of countless parents and educators of young children. The transition may elicit a mix of emotions for the child and the parents. The child may feel delighted to move on to something new while, at the same time, they may feel anxiety over leaving the teachers and friends they made for something unknown.

On the other hand, the transition could cause parents to be concerned on how their child will cope with and adapt to the change and how this would affect their role as parents. Seeing learning as a continuous process, this transition is an important phase for the child and for those surrounding him or her, especially the family and the educators. According to Shore (1998, cited in Bohan-Baker, 2004), early cognitive gains fade as children get older and move on to primary grades.

This could be attributed to the significant differences between the involvement of parents, the organization of classroom, and the teaching style in early childhood programs and elementary schools (O’Brien, 1991 cited in Bohan-Baker, 2004). In addition, when the rules, routines, atmosphere, or philosophy is dramatically different from preschool and child care settings, the child may experience difficulty in adjusting (Shore, 1998 cited in Bohan-Baker, 2004).

Hence, the transition from preschool to kindergarten has been identified as a vital developmental milestone for children and their families (McIntyre et. al, 2007). Family involvement has been recognized as a well-established transition practice (Bohan-Baker, 2004). Numerous studies, professional organizations, and distinguished educators have stressed the critical role of parental support and underscored the importance of family involvement in the school achievement of children (Boyer, 1991; Powell, 1989; Swick, 1994 cited in Barbour, 1998).

In early childhood, family involvement should focus on educational activities to promote the child’s success in school (Weiss et al. , 2006). When parents read to their child at home, the child is likely to recognize the alphabet letters faster (Nord et al. , 1999 cited in Weiss et al. , 2006). In addition, teaching children how to write words at home is related to a child’s ability to identify the relationship between the letter and the speech sounds (Haney & Hill, 2004 cited in Weiss et al. , 2006).

Nurturing a warm and responsive relationship with their child and participating in child-centered activities contribute to a positive learning outcome as well (Lamb-park et. al. , 1999 cited in Weiss et. al. , 2006). When parents participate in child-centered activities such as playing, the child is likely to become more sociable and independent (Fantuzzo & McWayne, 2002 cited in Weiss et al. , 2006). Considering the importance of family involvement to the development of a child, the family should be involved in aiding the child during the transition from preschool to kindergarten.

To achieve this, Pianta, Rimm-Kauffman, and Cox (1999 cited in Bohan-Baker, 2004) suggested three inter-related principles which should be the basis of transition practices: (1) reaching out, (2) reaching backward in time, and (3) reaching with appropriate intensity. These principles state that schools need to “reach out and link with families and preschools in order to establish relationships and engage in two-way communication about how to establish effective transition practices” prior to first day of school. To reach out to the parents, schools can “develop a range of practices with varying intensity (i. e.

, low-intensity flyers or pamphlets, high-intensity personal contacts or home visits). ” When the school-family connection is established, the achievement gap of the child (if any) can be closed and the child’s potential can be realized (Ferguson & Wood, 2005). References Barboun, A. C. (Winter 1998/1999). Home literacy bags promote family involvement. Childhood education. Retrieved September 28, 2007 from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_qa3614/is_199801/ai_n8787336/print Bohan-Baker, M. & M. D. , P. (2004). The transition to kindergarten: a review of current research and promising practices to involve families.

Retrieved September 28, 2007 from http://www. gse. harvard. edu/~hfrp/content/projects/fine/resources/research/bohan. pdf Headstartinfo. org. (1986). Easing the Transition from Preschool to Kindergarten: A Guide for Early Childhood Teachers and Administrators. Retrieved September 28, 2007 from http://www. headstartinfo. org/recruitment/trans_hs. htm#top McIntyre, L. L. , et al. (2007). Transition to kindergarten: family experiences and involvement. Early Childhood Education Journal, 35, 83-88 Weiss, H. , et al. (2006). Family involvement makes a difference. Harvard Research Project, 1, 1-8.

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