School Readiness! Starting Your Child Off Right
Sometimes parents think they should teach their child
letters and numbers before they begin kindergarten, but they best way to help
your child prepare for school is to help them know how to learn.
to your child. This shows them
that communication is important.
to your child. Language
development is a key to successful learning. When you talk to your child while you do things, describe
what you are doing and answer their questions. This encourages language development.
your child questions that do not have a one- or two-word answer. (Instead of asking, “Did you have a
good time?” ask “What did you like about the park? Why?”)
interest in your child’s school, preschool, or child care center. There are many things that parents can
do to help. Some parents volunteer
in the classroom. Others help in
the lunchroom or on the playground.
Your child’s teacher can help you decide how you can help.
to your child. Choose may different
things to read, like favorite books, poems, factual books, and
magazines. Reading is one of the
best ways to help your child’s language development and to help them enjoy
and value books. This is important
to success in school. Your library
is a good place to find books.
your child to different places.
Experiences with the world can help your child form a good base of
information they can use in school.
Take your child to the grocery store, the car wash, or just for a
walk around your neighborhood.
Talk about what you see.
Describe what is happening.
Point out common words on signs.
Little things can be an adventure for your child, and they can
learn a lot as well. Playing games like “I Spy” something green and having
them guess the exact thing you “spied.”
television. Too much TV takes time
away from other good activities that can help your child learn. Television does not help develop
language skills. Choose programs
carefully and limit watching to a maximum to one or two programs a day.
good child care. Good child care
helps children be successful in school.
In child care, children need to be in small groups with teachers
who understand and like children.
They need many different activities to choose from and may materials
to use. This kind of high-quality
care can help your child begin to develop needed skills like getting along
with others, listening, and following directions.
limits for your child and stick to them.
Setting limits helps children feel secure because they know what to
expect and it helps them to follow rules.
your child learn to listen by using words like “up”, “down”, and “beside”
when you talk to them and give them one-,two- or three-part directions to
follow. (For example, “Please
brush your teeth and put on your pajamas” or “Please put away your coat,
wash your hands, and sit at the table so we can have lunch.”
The next article in the series will be “How do I Know if My
Child is Ready?”