12 More Tips for Getting Your Child Ready for Kindergarten
by *Frances Page Glascoe, Ph.D.
1. Encourage your child to draw and write.
Have magic markers, crayons and paints handy so your child
can spend time almost every day drawing and writing.
Write your child’s name on his papers and hang them around
your house or apartment. This helps your child know that his work
is important to you and that his papers are something to be appreciated.
2. With your child, make a scrap book of her art work and papers.
This helps build organizational skills.
3. Help your child put toys away before getting out new ones.
Put toys away neatly and don’t just throw them in a box. This
helps build organizational skills and neatness. When your child
wants to begin writing real words, write one or two examples for
him to copy and trace.
4. When your child wants to begin writing real words, write one or two examples for him to copy and trace.
5. Encourage your child to finish chores before playing or taking breaks. This helps her learn to follow through with tasks and to “work first and play later.”
6. Have your preschool-age child watch Sesame Street – and watch it with her from time to time. Encourage her to sing along, answer questions and get really involved in the program.
7. During kindergarten, your child will be taught the sounds of letters. You can help him learn by emphasizing the same sounds at home. For example, if the class is working on the sound of the letter “b,” trying batting balls into a basket or baking a letter B with bread dough. Such fun activities will help your child associate words, letters and sounds.
8. There are fun toys like See and Say, Phonics Radio and Leapfrog (www.amazon.com) that build associations between words, objects and sounds. Computer games like Reader Rabbit and Reader Rabbit Math (www.amazon.com) are great for teaching young children spatial concepts, color recognition, shape discrimination, counting and alphabet skills.
9. During first grade, your child will begin reading words.
Take turns reading with your child – first you, then him, and so forth.
Let him pick out books to read, no matter how simple. This shows him you think his reading is very important
Let him read to his brothers and sisters
10. When she is in early elementary school, encourage her to tell you short stories.
Write the stories down as she talks and put a sentence or two at the bottom of several pieces of paper.
Staple these together so she has a book.
Let her draw pictures on each page to go with the story and then help her read her “personal book.” This helps children understand that reading is “talk written down.”
11. Meet with your child’s teacher often to find out how he is doing. Get ideas from the teacher about specific things you can do at home to build the skills being worked on in class.
12. If your child seems to be having trouble learning school skills and needs more support than you can provide at home, ask the resource teacher at your child’s school to help you find a summer program or tutor.
*Frances Page Glascoe is Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University and Penn State University, also the developer of the Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status screening tool – usually referred to as “PEDS.” This article, the fourth of a five-part series, Tips for Parent, is reproduced with permission of the author.