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By KELLY RICHARDSON
HARDIN COUNTY —Though it still will be a little while before this year’s kindergartners advance to first grade, it’s time for next year’s classes to begin preparation.
Kindergarten pre-registration for the next school year at Hardin County Schools is Friday. Parents can register their children at the schools they will attend between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., and then spend the next months preparing for the big day.
With many children attending preschool before entering kindergarten and many parents working with their children on the alphabet, numbers and social skills, the abilities of the students are increasing, said Carlena Sheeran, the HCS director of early childhood education.
But the main thing for parents to do is to make sure their children are ready to attend school every day and to get them excited about the prospect, she said.
Terry Wilson, a kindergarten teacher at Lincoln Trail Elementary School, has taught kindergarten for five years and is winding up another year with her current class. Her day is packed and she moves her students from one lesson to another at a swift pace.
The students work on the alphabet, reading sounds, writing, math, the days of the week and month, playtime, which improves developmental skills, and much more in a typical day. In less than an hour on Friday, Wilson’s class identified verbs in sentences and the parts of a plant, along with coming up with math problems and counting by fives and twos.
Academics is a big focus, she said; the students don’t just play, which is a common misconception about kindergarten.
Sheeran said the students are like sponges, and they change dramatically from the first day to the last.
“Sometimes I think we underestimate how much they can do,” she said.
Because students can have large differences in their abilities when they start, they work in small groups often. That way, teachers can help them no matter how far along they are in a particular area.
“Wherever they are, that’s where we start with them,” Wilson said.
If parents can’t register their children during the specified time frame Friday, they can contact Sheeran at 769-8912. Parents will need the child’s birth certificate, social security card and a Kentucky immunization certificate.
Kelly Richardson can be reached at (270) 505-1747.