Your child’s first day of Kindergarten is fast approaching. To make the transition from home to school a little easier, we reached out to educators who specialize in early learning and child development to gather resources to help you. Every month leading up to your child’s first day of school we’ll share ideas, tips and resources to make sure you and your child feel #ocsbReady for Kindergarten. Here are some ideas to try this month!
Ask your child questions during storytime
Did you know asking your child questions when you’re reading stories together will help develop your child’s language and reading skills? It encourages in-depth thinking, builds vocabulary, and sparks curiosity. Here are four at-home preschool literacy tips we picked up from No Time for Flash Cards:
- Predict the story using clues from pictures! Before you start reading the story, ask your child what they think will happen in the story based on clues they find from the pictures and illustrations.
- Dive into the story. Ask your child how they would feel in the character’s shoes? Would they make the same choices?
- Hunt for letters or words. Can your child find their initials at least once in every book you read? If that’s too easy, see if they can find a simple word to find like “the” or “and.”
- What just happened? Ask your child to tell you in their words what happened in the book. This skill is called retelling, and it is a necessary skill in reading comprehension.
Have fun with math!
Math is everywhere! Make it part of your child’s day. Math and language go together like milk and cookies. Before we can count how many apples and oranges are in a bowl, we need to identify which fruits are apples and which ones are oranges! You can help your little learner build their math skills by defining and categorizing things with three fun Games to Play at Home Using Attributes for Math Thinking from the Erikson Institute.
Nurture your child’s emotional health and development through play
When your child starts Kindergarten in September, we won’t expect them to type a 1500-word essay on the relevance of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in contemporary western society– they probably won’t get into that until grade two… We’re kidding.
Your child’s learning in Kindergarten will be rooted in play and exploration because it’s not only effective, but it’s good for emotional health and development! Learn more about 28 reasons why play benefits emotional health and development from AAA State of Play.
Skills to work on as you get ready for school
When your child goes to school in September they will need to start doing certain things on their own. To get them ready for this journey to independence we’ve got some suggested things you can try now!
- Help your child make choices like what clothes to wear, story to read or activity to do. This gets your child ready for the classroom where they will be encouraged to choose classroom activities or materials to use.
- Let your child dress themself and open snack containers on their own. Practicing “big kid” tasks like getting dressed for the outdoors or opening snack containers on their own is a great way to prepare your child for Kindergarten. Giving your child the chance to practice these skills now will boost their confidence for their new school adventure.
- Encourage the use of language to make needs known and solve problems. When your child starts school, they will need to communicate their needs to other children and adults. Please help your child practice making their needs known by using words so they will feel more confident when they need to ask for help, go to the bathroom, or get a drink.