Making the best of the Kindergarten year for your child!
There are four areas of focus.
If you or someone you know has a child entering kindergarten in the Jacksonville or St. Augustine areas, you may be asking the following questions: "What is the best way to prepare?" "What are some thing you can do at home that will give them an advantage when they begin classroom work?" Whether you child is a daycare or preschool student already or entering into school for the first time, there are four key areas to look at when preparing for the upcoming academic year; along with several effective ways to encourage in-home learning before the first day.
By age five, many children are craving more independence in daily tasks: this is natural, so encourage your kindergartener to do as much as he can by himself! Children will have a major advantage – and feel more confident away from home – if they can already use the bathroom by themselves, dress themselves, and tie their own shoes when they enter Kindergarten. Memorizing his address and phone number will help a child work on memory skills, while also giving reassurance to parents!
Fine motor skills are very important; in fact, your child’s natural dexterity and hand-eye coordination often help pave the way to academic success, giving children the basic confidence they need to be lifelong learners. Can your child hold a pencil? Zip and unzip, button or unbutton his jacket? Self-grooming and motor skills go together, so giving your child the freedom to be more self-sufficient with everyday tasks will help him exponentially in the classroom.
2. Read together.
Books give us indispensable knowledge: they encourage rhyming, remembering, and recognizing the difference between sounds; they teach important life lessons, often through funny and easy-to-remember storylines. Reading can help your child learn the difference between decodable and sight words, and give him a head start on phonics. You can practice reading with your kindergartener throughout the day at home, and one easy way to do this is by having your child read the words on a grocery list or on different household objects.
3. Encourage daily practice of counting and language skills.
Your kindergartener will have a solid foundation in school if he has already practiced the following skills at home: counting to ten; identifying several letters of the alphabet, (and short words that begin with these letters); naming most primary colors; holding conversations with others; and identifying different shapes and numbers. Help your child get excited about counting with a multitude of creative household counting games.
DIY activities are also a wonderful way to help children memorize the alphabet – especially if they get to use fun supplies such as beans and shaving cream! Familiarizing children with conversation is as simple as including them in a dinnertime discussion, or asking them specific questions about their day. If a child is already chatting at home, he’s more likely to open up and make friends at kindergarten!
4. Keep an eye on your child’s emotional development.
Conversation also relates to emotions, as evidenced by your child’s response to family and friends: does your kindergartener seem overly sensitive? Hesitant to open up? Do too many questions overwhelm him? There’s a reason behind every response in a kindergartener, and something to keep in mind is that you can help get your child get into the right frame of mind for entering school. Encouraging friendships through scheduled play-dates, visiting public places such as the library or the park, and organizing similar activities will give your child an awareness of himself and others, which will help significantly in a school setting.
T’s Learning Center offer free VPK is excited to get our kids ready for kindergarten. It’s a big transition for many children and the good news is that you can help your child make a seamless transition into classroom life! By putting in a little extra effort at home, you can sow the seeds for lasting kindergarten success, and help your child have the best school experience possible.