Starting school is a major milestone in your child’s life. There will be new people, new rules and new relationships to develop. Teachers will play an increasingly important role. But you will remain their most influential teacher. Children need their parents to take an interest in their learning; to help them when they’re struggling and to show pride in their success. The more involved you are, the better your child will do.
Learning to read and write is one of the main focuses of kindergarten. Typically, children will learn all the letter names and sounds, and then be taught to put these sounds together to make words, like /d/ /o/ /g/ for dog. In addition, there are a number of high-frequency words, such as the, all and were that do not have regular, predictable spelling patterns so they must be memorized. Reading familiar books to your child, and pointing to the words as you go, will help your child learn these high-frequency words.
Starting school opens up a whole new world for your child. The focus is naturally on reading and writing, but children learn so much more—including working on their own and becoming independent thinkers. At this age learning is fun, and with your encouragement it can remain so throughout their school years.
- Encourage your child to look through books every day. Children who read and listen to stories do better in school.
- Children are fascinated by nature. Go for a walk in a park with a magnifying glass and encourage your child to see plants and insects close up.
- Ask your child to draw a picture of something she saw on your walk together. This will help her develop the fine hand control needed for writing.
- Copying stories from their favorite books helps children learn that we write from left to right.
- Don’t forget to play! Children need to relax after a hard day at school in the same way that adults relax after work. This refreshes their brain for the next day’s learning.
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