• How can I help my child prepare for Kindergarten?

     

    Kindergarten has changed over the years.  You might remember playing, singing, and listening to stories.  Reading, computing math problems, and writing didn’t really start until first grade.  Well, times have certainly changed. 

    Kindergarteners still play, sing, and listen to stories but now they also read, write, and compute math problems.  By the end of the school year, kindergarteners will master their Indiana State Standards before they move on to first grade.  Therefore, starting kindergarten with appropriate readiness skills becomes extremely important for your child. 

    Children enter kindergarten in August with a variety of skills and experiences.  Some children enter kindergarten reading words.  Some children enter kindergarten reading short sentences.  Some children enter kindergarten reading books. One child will count to 10, another child to 100.  However, those children who enter with solid kindergarten readiness skills feel good about themselves.  They are confident in their learning.  They are ready for the challenges of kindergarten.  A child with very little kindergarten readiness skills will feel overwhelmed by their peers who have these skills. 

     

    PLEASE take time over the next five months to work side by side with your child. 

    You need to show your child that learning is a priority in your household.  Become your child’s first teacher.  Become aware of what your child knows and is able to do.  Practice readiness skills often.  Sit down and read with your child every day.  Your child will be expected to sit for a period of time and listen to the teacher.  You can practice this.  Set the timer for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes etc.  Work with your child on holding pencils and crayons correctly.  Color together.  Write together.  Talk and ask questions together.  Praise and encourage your child.  Make a mastery chart.  Each time your child masters a readiness skill give them a hug and a star.  If they have difficulty, give them a hug and a star for their effort.  Build their confidence with skills and self-esteem. 

     

          Here are some suggested skill activities to work on:

    1. Practice saying their first and last name.        “I am John Wilson.”
    2. Practice saying their phone number.   “My phone number is 123-4567.”
    3. Practice saying their address.  “My address is 456 State St.  Crown Point, Indiana.”
    4. Practice writing.

    Start with drawing circles and lines.

    1. Practice writing their first name.

    Write your child’s name on a paper.  Say the names and sounds of the letters as you write them.

    Talk about the capital letter at the beginning of the name.  Cut the letters apart and help your child put them back in order. 

    Start with a capital letter, then use lowercase for the rest……. John.

    1. Practice writing their last name after successfully writing their first name.

    Start with a capital letter, then use lowercase for the rest……Wilson.

      

     

       Suggested skill activities to work on (continued):

    1. Practice reciting and singing the alphabet song with your child.

    Create 2 sets of cards with the letters of the alphabet: one set of lower case letters and one set of upper case letters.  Use the letters as flash cards.  Practice 4-6 letters at a time. 

    Have your child match the lower case cards to the upper case cards.

    1. Practice identifying the upper case letters…… A, B, C, etc.

    Parent points to the letter.  The child says the letter.

    Parent says the letter.  The child points to the letter.

    1. Practice identifying the lower case letters…..a, b, c, etc.

    Parent points to the letter.  The child says the letter.

    Parent says the letter.  The child points to the letter.

    1. Practice naming the basic colors…red, orange, blue, green, yellow, white.

    Parent points to the color.  The child says the color.

    Parent says the color.  The child points to the color.

    Parent – “I see something red”.  The child names all the red objects.

    1. Practice counting to ten. 

    Child counts to ten…1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.

    Parent points a number - 5.  Child says the number - 5.

    Parent asks the child for 2 blocks.  The child can give 2 blocks.

    Parent has 3 blocks.  The child can tell the parent there are 3 blocks.

    1. Practice sorting, matching and using patterns.

    Sorting - Parent provides child with classifying objects.  3 animal characters.  3 fruits. 

    3 transportation vehicles.   The child sorts these 9 objects according to their classification – animals, fruits, transportation.

    Matching – Parent provides a set of objects (pictures etc.)  The child matches the object to a picture.   There are matching games at teacher stores and toy stores.

    Patterns – Parent starts a pattern …. red, yellow, blue, red, yellow, __?___.  

    The child can complete the pattern.  There are pattern games at teacher stores and toy stores. 

    1. Practice identifying and drawing the shapes….. circle, triangle, rectangle, square.
    2. Practice locating …. over, under, in front of, in back of, on top of, above, below, between, right, left.

    Parent places an object above the table.  Child can tell you it is above.

    Parent tells the child to place the object above the table.  Child holds object above.

    1. Ask your child for a word that begins like their name.  Examples:  Cute Carla, Pretty Pat.
    2. Make labels with your child and label things in the bedroom:  bed, chair, table, wall, window, etc.
    3. Label the things in your child’s pictures.  If your child draws a house, label it house.
    4. Play simple word and number board games together as a family. 

     

    Starting kindergarten is a new adventure.  If you work with your child over these next five months, your child will experience a successful and exciting adventure.  You can make the difference.