• What can parents do to help their child succeed in Kindergarten?
       Making the most of your child's Kindergarten year  
       Many parents ask "What can I do to help my child?"  As teachers we welcome this question!  Parental support is essential in helping a child reach his or her fullest potential. There are many ways in which parents can reinforce learning at home.  Here are just a few suggestions that I hope you will find helpful.
    *  Make sure your child maintains excellent attendance.  When students miss even one day of school they may miss  lessons that set the foundation for future lessons, or a learning task or experience that cannot be replicated.  Set the standard that education is a top priority.
    *  Talk with your child about school.  Ask your child questions about their day, specifically what they learned about in math, what story they read, what they learned about writing, or in science or social studies.  In the classroom we utilize a standards based classroom model where we discuss the learning goals with the children before, during, and after the lesson.  We have discussions about what it means to "meet standards" and what exemplary Kindergarten work looks like. The students learn to give and receive constructive crticism and are therefore accustumed to discussing curriculum and learning goals.
    * Practice sight words on a regular basis!  Sight words, also called high frequency words, are words most commonly encountered in the English language.  The students are expected to recognize these words upon sight, increasing their fluency (ability to read with speed and accuracy) and therefore making comprehension easier.  If a child has to struggle to recall many words in a reading passage, comprehension of the passage can be lost.  Regular practice of sight words is essential to helping your child become a fluent reader.  You will be amazed at the growth in reading your child will make this year! 
    *  Read with your child and to your child on a regular basis.  Reading is an essential skill that will impact your child's learning in all subject areas, as by about third and fourth grade the focus begins to shift from "learning to read," to "reading to learn."  Children never outgrow the enjoyment of sharing a story, and hearing your model of fluency and inotation will strengthen their ability to "read with expression," which is a Kindergarten standard.  Also, as you read ask your child questions about the story.  Question your child about what happend in the story and about the characters. Questions that go beyond recall of events, such as "Why do you think he/she did that?,"  or "How do you think the character felt"? can strenghten your child's abiltiy to reason and make judgements.  Also, new words can be discussed as they are encountered in the reading. 
    *  Develop good homework habits.  Try to schedule a regular homework time together.  I understand well the busy nature of a family's lifestyle in the evenings with demands of extra-curricular activities, dinner, household chores, and siblings demanding attention.  At the same time, setting a routine of even 20 minutes to practice/reinforce what has been taught at school will have a great impact on your child's success at school.  If a concept is difficult for your child, practice at home can help your child.  At the same time be aware of your child's frustration level.  If you or your child becomes frustrated take a break and come back to it later. 
    *  Make sure your child is getting enough sleep. Children at this age need about 10 to 11 hours of sleep in order to be at their best.  Sleep deprivation can impair memory function and therefore make learning difficult.  Lack of sleep can also weaken the immune system, making your child more suceptible to getting sick.
    *  Provide opportunities for your child to develop independence and responsibility.  Children at this age are much more capable of making decisions and completing tasks than we sometimes think.  Discuss expecations with your child as well as consequences in advance.  This will develop your child's understanding of cause and effect, and also help them to realize that their choices will result in consequences, either positive or negative.  Children at this age are fully capable of realizing that they make choices and therefore also choose the consequences, as opposed to consequences just being given to them.  Teach and encourange your child to open their own snacks, dress themselves, tie their own shoes, clear their plate from the dinner table, etc.  This will stregthen your child's self esteem and confidence, and make things a littler easier for mom and dad as well:)
    https://www.readinghorizons.com/reading-strategies/  (This website is a great resource for reading strategies that can help your kindergartner progress in their reading development.)
    *  Lastly, speak positively about learning and school in front of your children.  Children value what their parents think and want to please!  
Last Modified on September 3, 2018