Now that summer is drawing to an end, parents and children everywhere are scrambling to prepare for the school year. Below are our child care professionals’ ten tips on how to get your children ready for their first day of kindergarten, including what topics they should be familiar with, and how to get them back into a routine. When the alarm clock goes off on that first day, you’ll be glad that you prepared ahead of time!
These developmentally appropriate skills will serve as a solid foundation for your child’s learning.meta
Reinforce You Child’s Knowledge of Letters and their Sounds
One of the things that children should have nearly mastered by the first day of kindergarten is a knowledge and understanding of letters and their sounds. Both letters and their sounds are useful for teaching kids how to read and write. It’s important that they be able to differentiate between upper and lower-case letters as well. It is a plus if your child is able to write out his or her name.
Read to Your Child as Much as Possible
It can be difficult to maintain a reading routine during the warm days of summer. If you and your child took a break from the routine, the weeks leading up to the beginning of the school year is a good way to reinstate it. Children should be able to listen to a story and recall details from it afterward. Benefits of learning how to read from an early age include possessing an expansive vocabulary, developing a better grasp of language and strengthening his or her memory.
Teach Them to Count and Identify Numbers
Children should be able to count and identify up to the number ten. This includes being able to count objects. Understanding mathematical basics from a young age is a key component of being able to comprehend other mathematical concepts later on in life.
Show Them How to Recognize Basic Colors and Shapes
Children begin to differentiate colors around 18 months. It is around this age that children will start to notice the similarities and differences between textures, sizes and shapes. The first step to learning colors is by matching them, preferably via blocks. Toddlers are also more aware of their surroundings and so parents can use mealtime, everyday scenarios, and walks to help their brains understand colors better. Most children are able to identify and name one color by the age of three.
Discuss Ways to Problem-Solve a Situation
Teaching basic problem-solving skills during preschool and kindergarten will only serve to prepare children for later on in life. Children who are unable to problem solve difficulties may avoid addressing it or engaging in conflicts. First, teach your child how to identify what the problem is. From there, they can develop several possible solutions prior to going into action. This includes discussing the consequences of each action. Encourage them to keep trying to solve a problem until it has been resolved. Parents shouldn’t spring into action to solve the issue. Common conflicts that children encounter include sibling rivalries.
Impose Screen Time Limits
In preparation for the school year, children should be reading and practicing their mathematical skills. Educational applications on the iPad or iPhone can be helpful when in moderation but too much screen-time can lead to obesity, emotional and developmental issues, and a lack of sleep. Additional information on how to limit screen time fairly can be found on our blog.
Re-establish Morning Wake-Up Call and Bedtime Routine
Establishing a wake-up call and a bedtime schedule will make it easier when school is in session. This way, the first time isn’t done during the first day of school, making an already hectic time more stressful. Additional tips on how to help your child ease the transition can be found on our blog.
Create a Structured Calendar
Your school has most likely released a calendar of significant dates and holidays for the upcoming year. Take an evening to yourself and incorporate the information into your personal and family calendars, ensuring that everyone is kept up to date.
Purchase Back-to-School Essentials
If you haven’t done so already, purchase a new backpack and lunchbox, and buy, order, or pick up school supplies. Some schools release a required list ahead of time. If yours doesn’t, wait until your child’s teacher sends one home and then get to shopping.
Don’t Forget About the Summer Reading List
Kindergarten orientation is often held at the beginning of the summer, when a reading list is distributed to the students. Parents often set aside the list until a few days prior to the start of the school year, but educators advise not waiting that long because the list can be expansive to get through.
How Can the Nanny Authority Assist with the Transition?
Additional things that children should learn prior to their first year in school can be found here, as can our blog post on how parents can help children foster healthy long-term relationships. Here at the Nanny Authority, our nannies are well-versed in developmental stages and can help children complete daily homework and special assignments. A part-time, after-school nanny can give your child one-on-one attention, pick the child up from school, and take them to various activities as well. For more information on our services, contact a placement specialist at 973-466-2669 or via e-mail today!