Monday, August 23, 2010

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

As summer is drawing to a close, many of you are getting your little ones ready for their first day of kindergarten.

Today, FAMILY Magazine’s Assistant Editor Amy Bevins talked with Peggy Fox during the WUSA Mom’s Like Me segment about preparing your child for kindergarten. Here are a few of Amy’s tips.

Research shows that children from language-rich homes have an edge when they start school. So talk with your child.

Together observe the world around you. Count stairs. Compare big and little oranges at the store. Use street signs to discuss colors and shapes. Using the names of things adds to your child’s vocabulary. But be sure to keep it a back and forth conversation.

Add to what your child says to make the language richer – “Yes, I see the bird too. See how it has a brown back and a red tummy. That’s a robin. They eat worms. Would you like to have dinner with them?”

Answer and ask questions to teach kids how to hold conversations and how to listen.

Work with your child to retell events in order.

Before the first day –

o Take a tour of the school if possible
o Help them memorize their teacher’s name
o Practice the walk to school or the bus stop, noticing signs, colors, letters, landmarks along the way.
o Share memories of your school years
o Sign up to volunteer

And start a family tradition. In my family, I always made chocolate chip cookies to welcome the kids’ home from school. Over warm-from-the-oven cookies, we shared first day of school stories and reminisces.

How will you get your child ready for kindergarten and welcome them home from school?

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