IS YOUR CHILD READY FOR KINDERGARTEN? 10 SIMPLE TIPS
by Carolyn Marquez
(Kindergarten Teacher at Cross Schools)
One of the things that I am asked every year is, "What can I do to help my child be successful in kindergarten?" Since I am asked this so frequently, I decided to come up with a list of ten things parents can review with their children based on our curriculum and almost fifteen years of teaching experience.
- Review capital and lowercase letters- Flashcards are an excellent way to ensure that your child recognizes the difference between uppercase and lowercase letters. Fun websites such as abcmouse.com have wonderful review activities that will help your child differentiate between the two and practice proper letter formation as well.
- Review sounds- Ask your child to sound out items in the real world or magazines. For example, "We're going to Target today." As you walk into Target have your child look at the sign on the building. "What letter does Target begin with? What sound does the 'T' make?" Picture cards are also great practice because your child can associate the picture with each letter and sound.
- Counting to 20- Practice counting using small objects such as Cheerios or jellybeans. Place these items on a number line as you count. Associating the number in print is a great visual for your child.
- Left and right- Your child may already know their right hand from their left hand, but you can take it a step further. Ask your child, "What is to the left of the coffee pot?" or "What is to the right of our house?"
- Proper letter formation- It is so important for your child to know the proper letter formation. As I mentioned before there are great websites for letter practice, however, children also need to practice writing their letters as well. You can find great handwriting books at Dollar Tree, Staples, or Walmart. Below is a link to an article on why handwriting is so important for your child. http://www.readingrockets.org/
- Spelling first name correctly (capital and lowercase letters)- The best way to do this is to have your child practice on primary writing paper. Look for paper that has a dashed line in between the top and bottom lines. This will help them with formation and placement as well.
- Writing numbers to 10- You may want to start with flash cards first and review these numbers with your child. See if they can recognize each number up to 10. If they do, try challenging them to practice numbers 11-20.
- Patterns/colors/shapes- Online games work well when practicing patterns, shapes, and colors. One of my favorite websites is www.starfall.com. There is a subscription fee for this website, but many of the activities are free.
- Days of the week/months of the year/seasons- Songs work great when practicing days of the week, months, and seasons. Starfall.com has great songs for each of these.
- Correct pencil grip- Have your child show you how they grip their pencil. It is much easier to correct your child at an early age. However, it can be very challenging as they get older. Larger and Tri-write pencils are recommended at this age. Staples sells larger pencils, but I have included this link if you wish to order them online. https://www.