I was lucky enough to have my mother in law keep her, so I wanted to make sure she had some practice socializing with other kids before starting “big school.”
Even though we had school practice, the first few weeks of PreK were rough. She cried when I dropped her off, and my heart went through all kinds of emotions. I beat myself up everyday trying to figure out how to fix it.
Thankfully, some veteran mamas had my back. A few of my co-workers stepped in and walked her to class for me, and one of them suggested I kiss her hand and read the kissing hand to her.
After a day or two of leaving her with her own kissing hand, the tears were gone (for her and me!)
Now, my baby girl is in kindergarten and I feel like a (semi) pro.
Here are a few things I wish I knew about kindergarten :
Literacy is Important
Read books to your child nightly and record books on their reading log (if they have one). Ask and answer questions about the story to encourage your child’s critical thinking skills.
Read a variety of books so that you can help your child identify different kinds of texts (non-fiction, fiction, & poems)-believe it or not, they are already learning this in kindergarten!
Learning to Write
It’s important to learn what font your child will be learning to write in. This will help you to reinforce the writing skills they are learning at school. Help your child write simple sentences (Ex. I like to play.) and encourage them to describe things in detail.
This is a biggie! Kindergarten is where your child will learn to read. If they don’t get the 100 sight words down, 1st grade will be an agonizing struggle.
The key to teaching your kids sight words is to practice, practice, practice! Not all sight words are easy to sound out, so some words have to be memorized.
Remember, every child learns in a different way, so you can try a variety of ways to help your child learn new words.
One of my favorite ways is to label everyday items around the house with index cards. The more your kids see words, the more likely they are to recognize them and ask you what they are.
As a mom who is very type A, I’ve enjoyed the communication folders. It keeps me in the loop of what she is learning and studying every week.
I also get a snapshot of her behavior and all the events in the school.
At the beginning of the year, I was great about checking her folder every day, but as the year progressing into the busy season, I often find myself forgetting to sign something and even forgetting to put the folder back in her book bag on occasion.
I honestly would be lost without it.
In conjunction with communication folders, many teachers use communication apps like Remind 101, Class Dojo or Class Tag.
These apps have changed my life!
Sometimes I read about an upcoming event in the folder, but the craziness of life ensues when I get home and I forget (imagine that!).
The communication apps allows my child’s teacher to send out group texts to everyone.
Your child’s teacher is now the expert on life
I can’t tell you how many times this year my daughter has said, “my teacher said…” Her teacher’s words always seem to trump mine.
I don’t get offended, but rather excited that she loves and trusts her teacher’s knowledge.
Be prepared for your child to take your teacher’s word as gospel…and yours is well..not as important.
And last but not least….
Your child will tell your business
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but five and six year olds love to share. They love to share about all the exciting things going on at home–good or bad.
So if you promise to only believe half of what your kid tells you is happening at school, we promise to only believe half of what they tell us happens at home.