I mentioned in a previous blog about school readiness that I would focus on what your child should know (according to the NEA) before starting kindergarten. Many people don’t realize that children need to be somewhat prepared to start kindergarten. Here are some things that your child should know before starting this wonderful first step into school:
-Know basic knowledge about themselves
-Know basic knowledge about their families
-Know basic knowledge of the world around them
Basically, what the NEA (National Education Association) suggests is that your child should have some academic skills, social skills and communication skills already in place, thanks to parents, that the kindergarten teacher can then use to build on throughout the school year.
What can parents do to help academically prepare their children for kindergarten? The NEA suggests some of the following ideas:
-Read to your child daily. It is true that children who are read to often, often have an expanded vocabulary and a higher love of reading than those that aren’t read to often. Talk about what you are reading as you read as you read to your child.
-Go to the library; utilize story time at the library.
-Help your child recognize his name by writing it in several places throughout your home, including in the child’s clothing.
-Encourage your child to learn to write his name. I have a great strategy for this: My four year old loves to write his name; we write his name outside using sidewalk chalk. It is large and easy to grasp, and he loves it! We also use bath paints and he writes his name during bath time.
-Assist your child in learning basic colors. Point out things using the color. An example would be: “Look at that blue ball on the green grass.”
-Give your child hands-on activities that require counting, such as puzzles or the use of manipulatives.
-Sing the alphabet song with your child to help learn the alphabet, point out letters individually when you see them and ask your child what each letter is.
-Play games that also teach. We love hide-and-seek because you have to count and I always make up a new number to count to each time, we go as high as 30 or as low as five.
By working with your child, and doing things that many of you already do, you should have a child well prepared for kindergarten.