Lessons Parents Can Teach Every Day to Prepare Children for Kindergarten
Photo by Yan Krukov of Pexels.
By Anita Ginsburg
Starting kindergarten should be an exciting experience. However, it can also be a scary time for both children and parents. Before that time comes, there are some lessons you can teach your child every day to help prepare them for school.
Create a Routine
If your child is accustomed to staying home, they probably do not have an established routine, or their routine may be fairly minimal. This is one of the biggest changes they will face when starting kindergarten. They might expect to continue doing whatever they want whenever they want when they get to school. To help them prepare, first, sit them down and discuss the changes that will be taking place. You can also begin a new routine to help them prepare for school.
Allow your child to help you create a schedule, and hang it on the fridge or wall. Since they likely won’t be able to read it yet, use pictures or colors along with words to help them see how the day is broken up. Set alarms to help you move along from one task to another, and make sure you give your child a 10-minute warning to prepare for their next activity. Don’t forget to include a short nap every day.
Up to this point, your child has likely relied heavily on you to do things for them. Teachers will greatly appreciate you teaching your child independence. Before bedtime, have your child choose an outfit for the next day, and lay it in a designated area. You could also help them prepare a lunch to take to school. When switching from one activity to the next, make sure they clean up their mess beforehand. When the 10-minute warning sounds, this would be a good time for your little one to begin cleaning up.
Photo by Lucas Alexander of Unsplash
Kindergarten preparation includes more than just helping your child adjust emotionally. It will help your child and their teacher if you give them a head start on learning the alphabet and numbers. Invest in a stack of flashcards, and work on teaching your kid to recognize each letter and number. Next, teach them how to write. There are plenty of tracing books in the school section of local stores, and they are usually fairly cheap. Have your child practice tracing their letters and numbers, then teach them to write their name.
By this age, your child may already know their colors. However, if they don’t, this is a great time to teach them. Watching educational shows such as Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are excellent ways to incorporate fun into learning. Art and coloring time can also be used as a fun way to teach colors.
Address and Phone Number
An important part of preparing for school—and life—is teaching your child their address and phone number. You should also make sure they know your first and last name. If they get on the wrong bus, this information will be helpful in returning them home safely.
Your kids will learn so much throughout their lives. Much of what they learn, they’ll study in school. However, even more of it will be taught at home, whether you realize it or not. It’s important to properly prepare your kids for the challenges they’ll face in school and in the world. Programs like The Children’s Reading Foundation can give you resources and templates for what and how to teach your children basic skills to prepare them for school.
Starting kindergarten should be an exciting time for parents and children. Help your child prepare for the transition by getting them into a routine and teaching them independence. When the time comes, it will be emotional, but you will both be better prepared for school.
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