If your child is about to enter kindergarten, there are several ways you can help him or her achieve success, both academically and socially. Setting certain standards for your child to live by is crucial to his or her development and for facing the new challenges that lie ahead. Before your child embarks on this new experience, help him or her get a head start by considering the following tips:
1. Become Connected With the Teacher and School
As a parent, it is non-productive to shift responsibilities to the kindergarten teacher once the school bells rings for the classroom session. In order to help the child succeed and be the best he or she can be, parents need to communicate with teachers and administrators. For instance, if your child is facing challenges at home, it is a good idea to inform the teacher and principal. Having this knowledge may provide the teacher with insight into why the child is exhibiting behavioral issues or perhaps being withdrawn.
You might also want to discuss your child's interests with the teacher. This may help the teacher learn new ways to help your child become more engaged in activities that he or she excels at. Conversely, it's a good idea to let teachers know about a child's weaknesses, such as having trouble distinguishing numbers or colors. Any health issues or medical conditions should definitely be conveyed as well.
Becoming a partner with the teacher and school officials by working as a team may help your child develop a new interest and enthusiasm for learning. Additionally, you might want to inquire about becoming a volunteer or parent chaperone for school outings, to offer your support and encouragement.
2. Offer Your Kindergartner the Freedom of Expression and Creativity
The use of learning tools shouldn't be limited to the classroom. Supply your child with crayons, markers, finger paint sets, pencils and paper so he or she can practice drawing and writing skills at home. Becoming familiar with the use of various writing instruments may help your child form letters and words and prep him or her for scholastic challenges ahead.
Another way to spark creative interest is to obtain a library card for your kindergarten child. Your child may borrow books and educational DVDs, as well as participate in library-sponsored after school programs that encourage creative thinking.
3. Encourage Social Interaction
As your child enters kindergarten, he or she will meet several new children. Encourage your child to form new friendships which may help him or her adjust more easily. One way to do so is by meeting some of the other parents and arranging a play date between classmates. Some schools actually organize these play dates or hold an open house where parents and children may get to know each other.
4. Turn Video Game Play Into Learning Time
Does your kindergartner enjoy playing video games? If so, there's no need to spoil the fun for him or her by forbidding your child to play. Restrict video game playing to weekends, and choose the games wisely. Your imaginative kid can soar through the video game galaxy and have fun, while learning at the same time.
You may be surprised to discover how some video games may help a child's memory and attention span. As your child learns to read, look for simple word coach games, drawing games and storybook workshop games. You child may also benefit from interactive games that encourage physical exercise. This type of video game play is sometimes referred to as "exergaming", an activity that may help young children develop better coordination. This may give your little one the edge when participating in kindergarten games that require hand and eye coordination.
For more information about preparing your child for kindergarten, contact a facility such as Triple R Child Care.