Getting Ready for Kindergarten

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

You have a very important role in your child's education. In fact, your child has been learning and you’ve been teaching from the very start! Following are some suggestions for preparing your child for “big school” next fall:

  • Read with your child He'll learn that books are fun and will want to read himself. When reading (and re-reading) favorite books, ask your child to use the pictures to retell the story. Extend the story by asking "what would happen if..." Visit the library. Help your child get her own library card and check out books.

  • Look for opportunities to teach your child numerals, letters, and colors. Make a game of it together. For example, count the dogs you see during a walk. Ask your child to find numbers or letters in signs. Help your child learn the letters of the alphabet in order and out of sequence. Use magnet letters or letters on cards to spell her name and other familiar words. Use color words in conversation. For instance, “Eat your green grapes. Put on your red socks and black shoes.”

  • Reinforce skills he already is learning at home or in preschool, such as using crayons, glue, and scissors. Introduce your child to the computer with learning games.

  • Encourage activities that involve sharing, turn-taking, listening, following directions, and taking part in conversations. Children playing and sharing with others build important social skills, too.

  • Let your child help with chores, such as matching socks, feeding the family pet, or setting the table.

  • Turn errands into field trips. Talk about the things you see and do at the post office, grocery store, or bank. Observation and conversation are important skills for your child to develop. Share family stories.

  • Encourage your child to share her thoughts and feelings about starting “big school.”

  • Help your child make good choices when selecting television programs. Limit the amount of TV he watches.

  • Encourage your kindergartner’s natural love for learning with praise. Recognize her curiosity and hard work.

  • Prepare your child for a full-day learning experience away from home. Summer is a good time to help your child get used to a school-like schedule and other caregivers.

  • Encourage healthy habits, such as eating nutritious foods, getting ample rest, having a regular bedtime, and being physically active.

  • Promote the importance of regular attendance and being on time. Stress that school is a family priority and being in class each day is very important.

Research shows that when parents are involved in their children’s education at home, their children do better in school. When parents are involved at school, their children’s achievement improves and the schools they attend become even stronger. Be There is a national movement that inspires parents to become more involved in their child’s education and their public schools. Click here for more helpful tipsheets and other resources for helping your child have a successful kindergarten experience.