Parents of incoming kindergarten students may be nervous about what to expect when they tour and select a kindergarten for their child. Don’t worry we’ve got all the tips for touring kindergartens. If your child will attend a public school, the school is most often determined according to your home address; however, if you can choose a charter, magnet or a private school kindergarten, your child’s options may be wider.
Here are some tips for touring kindergarten programs:
Ask about what curriculum materials are used for reading and math. Also, feel free to ask if they have a curriculum to address social and emotional well-being. Most school curriculums are available for review and you can get additional information from the publisher online. You will want to see a curriculum that uses manipulatives and hands-on activities, not just worksheets for instruction.
Friendly, Professional Kindergarten Teachers
Are the teachers certified to teach kindergarten? Well trained professional teachers know what to expect from a five-year-old child and will not become frustrated with unrealistic expectations for them. Are they polite and welcoming when you tour the school? Do they smile when you are introduced to them? Notice if kindergarten teachers are actively engaged with children in the classroom- moving around and interacting with them. A kindergarten teacher should not be sitting behind a desk staring at a computer or on her phone when children are working in the classroom.
A Bright and Inviting Classroom
Is the classroom decorated attractively? Is it clean and have good lighting? A child’s eyes are still sensitive and require good lighting to be able to learn to read and distinguish letters as they begin to read. You should see a variety of supplies, activities, manipulatives, games, and books in a kindergarten classroom. The best classrooms have words displayed everywhere, helping students associate the words with their meanings. For example, students’ names may be on the desks or signs like “Classroom Library” or “Art Center” help to define the spaces in the room.
Many kindergarten classrooms have self-contained bathrooms. Others have a shared bathroom down the hall. In either case, you should not smell them. The bathroom should be clean and have adequate paper towels and soap. Children in kindergarten are less likely to get sick if they can wash their hands often. The appearance of the bathroom tells you a lot about the pride the school takes in its facilities.
What are the rules for the kindergarten classroom? School rules may be different from the rules your child has at home. Ask what the classroom rules are so you can reinforce them at home and help your child know what to expect. Things, like raising your hand to ask for something or waiting your turn to play with a toy, might be frustrating if a child has never had to do that before.
I encourage you to take a kindergarten tour and ask questions to better understand the opportunities it can provide for your child.
Have you recently toured Kindergarten? I’d love your thoughts and additional tips for touring kindergartens!