Tips for Kindergarten

The first year of school is an important one for your child.

By FamilyTime


During the weeks and months after the first bell rings on the opening day of school, pay close attention to your kindergartner. This is a crucial year for him and your attention to his progress helps a lot.

Getting a good start in kindergarten can predict future success. If your five-year-old enjoys her early introduction to school, chances are the coming years will be equally rewarding.

Practical Matters
Make sure your little one knows his address and telephone number. Be sure the school authorities have your office phone number and cell phone number.

Write your child's name in everything your child takes to school. This includes sneakers, jackets, hats, mittens, scarves, boots, and lunch boxes.

Teach your child how to hang his coat on a hook or in a cubby. Make sure he recognizes his personal belongings.

Good Behavior
Reinforce your kindergartner's ability to follow direction. Help at home by giving her one- and two-step tasks to complete. For example, ask your child to put her pajamas in the clothes hamper, hang up her towel, or set the supper table.

Reinforce manners at home. Like everyone, teachers and classmates respond better to "please," "thank you," and "excuse me" than to direct commands!

Encourage your child to share his toys with other kids, take turns, and pick up after himself.

Good Health
Make sure your child goes to bed early and gets a good night sleep. Send her off to school after a nutritious breakfast -- never let her skip it!

Dress your child properly. This means rain gear in inclement weather and warm clothes when the temperature drops. Don't forget that most schools encourage outdoor recess even in cold weather.

If your child has a cold or is running a fever, keep him home. You may not feel this is necessary, but it's an extra precaution to insure the health of the other children. 

Schedule regular doctor's and dentist's visits before or after school hours. This is less disruptive to the class and the child.

Early Learning
Make sure your child understands that learning is fun -- not a chore. Ask older kids to monitor their smart-alec comments about school. Talk to your youngster about your own school days.

Discuss with your kindergartner what she can expect at school. Does she like to build blocks? Read stories? Play outdoors? Paint pictures?

Read to your child every day. Make reading time a quiet, comfortable activity. Nothing prepares children for reading better than being read to.

This is the key: to prepare your child for learning in a structured, ordered, and creative environment. Happy school days!