Depending on where you live, if your child is four or five years old, you will be sending him or her to kindergarten soon. As a parent, this can be a difficult thing for you to handle. Your “baby” is now old enough to go to school without you, and you might feel some anxiety about this step. If this sounds like you, don’t worry. Even though your child will be in kindergarten, you can still stay involved. Here are a few things parents should do with their kindergartener to help stay involved.
Reading with your kindergartener is one of the most important things you could do. This school year, your child will be expected to sound out words and read beginner level books aloud. Reading with your kindergartener will help your child develop these skills through practice. Start by reading books to your child. Listening to you read a story will build your child’s vocabulary and will model the correct way to read fluently. Once your child can read independently, let your child pick out an appropriately leveled book and listen to your child read. If your child has trouble on a page, encourage him or her to reread to help build fluency and understanding. The more you read with your kindergartener and to your kindergartner, the better your child will progress through this challenging skill.
Work on Letters & Numbers
Letters and figures are integral parts of kindergarten, and as such, every parent should work on these two skills with their children. Practice naming the letters and the sounds that letters make, as well as naming numbers and counting up to 100. You can do this through a variety of learning methods, from flash cards to games. No matter which method you use to work on letters and numbers with your child, make these skills a priority for the kindergarten school year.
Many parents remember to work on letters and read to their kindergartners, but it can be easy to forget that writing is just as important. Take a day or two a week to focus on writing with your child. You can make it fun by having your kindergartener draw a picture first. After your child has illustrated the picture, ask what’s happening in it. You will be amazed at the creative answers your child can give you. Write down whatever your child tells you, and then read this unique story together!
Not everything you should do with your kindergartner has to do with education and learning. If you can, take a day off work and volunteer in your child’s classroom. You will get the opportunity to spend quality time with your child, as well as see what is being learned in the classroom. This will help you better understand what’s going on in your child’s education, which in turns allows you to better assist your kindergartener at home.
As parents, we tend to tell our children a lot. We tell them when to eat lunch when to brush their teeth when to go to bed… The list is endless! Although there is nothing wrong with giving your child instructions, don’t forget to ask questions, too. Asking questions allows your kindergartener to develop important thinking and communication skills that will be used throughout life. The more questions you ask, the more your child can develop these skills.
Sending your child off to school for the first time can be difficult, but being involved with your kindergartener’s education will help make this transition a little easier for both of you. What are some other ways you stay involved with your children?