7 Tips from Kindergarten Teachers
Take a look at what kindergarten teachers have to share about their experience in taking care of kindergarteners!
Read stories to your children. I know it's an important beginning of reading readiness, but that's not my primary goal at first. We are hard wired for story. It's like a magic spell. Even my wiggliest kindergärtner cannot resist its power. Reading stories builds rapport. It helps the children to know me, to get in the habit of listening to me and to trust me.
Be intentional about surrounding your child with a musical environment! Whether it's an educational music CD in the van ride to practice or just the routine of singing and rhyming when everyone's at play, getting musical with your child is paramount for developing a strong vocabulary, triggering recall and strengthening social skills during the kindergarten year.
Consistently set the bar high. Most kindergarteners will rise to the occasion! There are so many ways they can take responsibility for themselves and their actions. They are responsible for keeping our classroom clean, cleaning up after themselves after snack, unpacking in the mornings and packing up in the afternoon. Offer similar opportunities at home, take a step back and see how capable your kindergartener is
Let your kindergartner laugh, play and even make messes: bake, make homemade Play-Doh, plant a garden, blow bubbles and make forts with blankets or boxes. Listen closely when they share the most amazing thing they learned at school each day. Do not lose sight of what kindergarten is meant to be: a time when children can be children and a place where their hearts can be nurtured, friendships formed, social skills strengthened and laughter is encouraged.
Students who have strong oral language will have greater academic success. Build oral language by snagging time every day to have real conversations. Resist the urge to put on the DVD player while driving in the car. This is a perfect moment to talk! Ask your child questions and help them to respond in complete sentences. You can also play games such as 'I Spy' while on the go or preparing dinner: 'I spy something that starts with B' or 'I spy something that rhymes with star.' These early literacy skill builders can be slipped into even the busiest of schedules
Ask your kindergartener's teacher if you can volunteer in the classroom. Tell your child in advance that you are coming to be with the whole class, not just your child. Follow all safety and security procedures, such as signing in at the office and prominently wearing your visitor badge. Enter the classroom inconspicuously and wave and smile at your child from across the room, but encourage your child to remain with the lesson or activity. As you circulate, help children other than your child. Do not judge or discuss the abilities and behaviours of other people's children. Parent volunteers can be such a blessing!
Spend Time Together
We encourage you to take time and listen to your kindergartener. You can gain so much knowledge! Your son or daughter will be thinking, 'I love it when you talk to me about my work. I love it when you read to me.' When you show a genuine interest in their life, you cannot imagine the love they feel and the confidence they develop. I urge you to put down social media and turn off the TV and move to the floor to play with them, discover with them and learn from them. Give them 'us time' every day. Make them feel like they are the most important thing in your life.