Is your child, like Evey, headed into first grade after a fun year of kindergarten? You may feel as though there are so many things you need to do to prepare. However, it’s wise to slow down and enjoy the summer with your child before they enter school this fall.

Keep Up With Your Reading and Writing

Reading and writing with your child is something you should do on a daily basis. Make this part of transitioning fun though. Start a journal and let your child draw and write a story about their summer. An alternative is to have a scrapbook that your child can write a few words in and fill up with visual memories of the summer. You can even work with your child to start a blog if you have the time and resources.

Make Things Feel Familiar

Instead of just sending your child to first grade, make everything feel familiar. Go back to the school this summer and spend some time there (if you can). If not, spend time talking about what happened in kindergarten and how most of the same things will happen in first grade. As far as recess, lunch, friends, and riding the bus—these activities are all “familiar” to your child, and it’s okay to keep talking about them through the summer and fall. Evey was concerned about having a new teacher, but after we had told her she would be going back to her kindergarten class for the first two days & then move to her first-grade class, she felt much better.

Give Your Child A Little More Freedom

It can be so hard to let go of our kindergartners and let them move up into first grade. Just with this class jump, there are going to be so many differences from an academic standpoint. Try giving your child a little more freedom through the summer this year. Allow them to choose which outfit they want to wear, which stories they’d like to read to you for reading time, and even which foods they’d like for lunch. If one thing is clear, incoming first graders love to make choices.

Phonics Is The Way To Go

Some children are still struggling with reading when they’re entering the first grade. You can help a child transition by continuing with phonics. In kindergarten, your child learned everything from how the alphabet looks to how it sounds. You can continue with phonics by using blends to help your child learn how to put words together.

Gabe readsLearn Your Local Academic Standards

If you are so unsure about what your child should know in first grade, don’t be afraid to Google the local guidance for your specific province, territory or state. Knowing these standards can help you come up with activities for your child through the summer and school year. By doing some of these activities before your child enters first grade, you are helping them build a foundation for the academic year.

Helping your child transition from kindergarten to first grade is a small gift you can give them. First grade isn’t always easy for some kids because it’s so different academically from kindergarten. Work with your child as much as you can, and things will be okay. A few others skills you can help your incoming first grader with are the following:

  • -Practice listening skills at home
  • -Learn to express themselves and how they feel
  • -Talk about what’s going on in the world around them
  • -Practice counting and doing math problems as much as possible

Make sure you mix a little bit of fun in with your child’s dedication to learning. You both will be glad you took a few breaks in between all of the learning this summer and fall.

What summer learning activities do you enjoy in your home?