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Is your child ready for Kindergarten?
Most parents remember their Kindergarten days as a time to color, learn the alphabet, and have snack time. However, that isn't the case anymore. Due to current public policy, the demands on children to meet certain standards has increased. Now, what was taught in first grade is now often introduced in Kindergarten.
To state it plainly, school readiness means that a child has the ability to emotionally, behaviorally, and cognitively, to enter the social environment that is primarily focused on education. There are many things in a child's life that influence their ability to learn. Development of cognitive, social, emotional, and motor abilities are affected by the experiences they have in early childhood.
Every child is different and develops at various times in their life, which requires a wide range of needs and support. It is up to parents and the schools to take the responsibility upon themselves to prepare their children. So ready set lets go to school.
Buy at AllPosters.com
Family environment is extremely important in a child's development. What happens in the home before, and after, school begins holds a vital impact on the learning capability of the child. When teaching your child here are a few guidelines to keep in mind: 1) Make it fun! 2) Child must be actively involved to learn 3) Eye to eye contact 4) Remember the appropriate attention span is about 5-10 minutes on one thing 5) Reward accomplishments.
Most of all, remember, Learning is a walk of discovery, not a race to the finish line!
Help them to:
- Work with puzzles, scissors, coloring, paint, etc.
- Count and recognize the alphabet
- Identify shapes and colors
- Follow simple rules
- Work independently with supervision
- Follow structured daily routines
- Cooperate with other children
A Collection of Activities
While every child is different and do not necessarily develop to the same level as other children of the same age, parents can do a variety of simple, and fun, activities to help their readiness for school.
- Read books with your child
- Create and enforce a routine in your home
- Take time to talk to your child
- Encourage your child to take responsibility through simple chores
- Whenever the opportunity presents itself, count with them.
- Encourage social skills by joining a playgroup or other social activity
- Play games with words that sound alike from everyday life, i.e. "The bee is in the tree!" "Which words sound the same?"
- Play I spy, have the goal be to find things that start with the same sound.
- Read nursery rhymes, sing songs, and clap or stomp with the rhythm.
Make a Calendar - to help with numbers, counting, days of the week, etc.
My children always ask me what day we are going to be doing certain things, i.e. visit Grandparents house. I'd get frustrated trying to explain to them how many days away it is and what it means when I say "Tuesday." So, I created a calendar that they get to put the dates and month on. This helps with teaching them days of the week, counting, number recognition, reading the month and understanding a schedule. They also love the responsibility of being the one to put the number on the calendar. They actually race from their beds to hurry and put it on for the day! You can use your own imagination to create a calendar and make it your own, or if you like the way I did it, here are a few things you are going to need.
Velcro tabs (you can buy this in the sewing section)
A place to laminate it all
I chose to laminate the days of the week with the poster board for my children's age level. I found that it helps them to see all the days of the week on there throughout the month. (I would recommend using block style lettering when writing or typing this out, I messed up on that and am needing to re-do it)
It's all super-easy and cheap to do. Have fun creating!
A Few of My Favorite Links
10 Signs of a Great Preschool (NAEYC)
1. Children are active in classroom
2. Activities and materials are hands-on
3. Children receive individual and small-group time
4. Children's work is displayed in classroom
5. Numbers and Alphabet are learned throughout the day
6. At least one hour is given for play or exploring
7. Opportunity to play outside
8. Children are being read to
9. Adapted curriculum according to child's needs
10. Children are happy to be there!
An Example of Success - All about him!
My son, 5-years-old, has always been a smart child. He loves to learn and explore the world around him. At 15 months old he knew all the letters in the alphabet, upper and lower case and could count to 10! Thanks to the help of Preschool Prep and the advice of my mother, who's an elementary school teacher. His favorite Preschool Prep video was, and still is, "Meet the Letters." He's been watching the video since he was about 10 months old. It's amazing how thrilled he would get when the letter comes up and it bounces around sounding out the letter. I liked that they made the letters into more everyday things, i.e. H was in the shape of a house, B was made into a bird. He has always been so excited about learning, and I believe that some of that comes from Preschool Prep. When he started pointing out letters on common objects and figuring out that they make words, I realized what a benefit Preschool Prep really is.
Recently, it has been difficult to entertain this drive he has to learn new things and keep his little mind working. He missed the deadline to enroll in school and has been quite bored with what I have offered as learning tools. So, for his 5th birthday we bought him a Leapster Explorer. It has great games and learning tools for him to enhance his learning experience.
Leapster in Action!
Leapster Game: Wolverine and the X-men
5-year-old boy's favorite game
For the Leapster Explorer, right now my son's favorite game is Wolverine and the X-men. He has learned to spell lots of words and how to sound out the letters in each word. It teaches him letter recognition, word building, long and short vowels, prefixes and suffixes, and phonics. This game is recommended for ages 5-9, or K-3rd grade. He just turned 5 and is doing well with the game. So, I would say that the age range is just about right. What I really like about the Leapster Explorer is that I can customize his spelling word list. So, if he has a spelling list that his teacher asks him to learn, I can program it to the Leapster and he is learning those specific words! It's been a wonderful thing to have!
Oh, and I would definitely recommend the recharging pack. Believe me, they will soar through batteries very quickly!
A Pack of Energy - you're going to need it
My son went through 12 AA batteries in 3 weeks until I decided to save myself some money and buy the recharging station. It's definitely worth it!
share you ideas, advice, questions, anything!