Helping Your Child Succeed in Kindergarten
Your child’s first year of school should be fun and exciting.
weather. Children who are comfortable and prepared for this
The first school experience is more likely to be rewarding and
productive years, and therefore associate positive feelings with
education. Since parents are children’s first and foremost
important teachers, you can play a key role in preparing your
children for a successful school experience by exposing them previously
to the key concepts they will experience in school. This could be
done in a fun and enjoyable way by making daily play
experience learning experiences too.
New learning builds on prior knowledge, therefore the more
exposure or background a child has with a concept, the easier it is to
it is for new learning and deeper understanding to occur.
Provide your child with prior exposure to concepts such as
alphabet, numbers, follow directions, listen, read,
cutting, tracing, etc. help them feel more comfortable and
confident when they experience these similar concepts in school,
thus allowing better learning to occur. Schools are becoming
more academic, dependent on standardized and fast-paced tests.
Give your children some familiarity with the concepts they will learn
encounter can help decrease anxiety and stress that often
accompany these experiences. Children who are overly stressed
or uncomfortable are less likely to be able to concentrate and
Children have a natural motivation to learn and a curiosity
About the world. You can improve and nourish this natural
Motivation by making gaming experiences enjoyable.
For example, children’s games are excellent resources to combine
learn with physical activity. Duck, duck, goose can be one way
to reinforce concepts such as the alphabet when having children
say the name of a letter instead of the word, duck and a word
which begins with that letter instead of the word goose.
Hide and Seek can become a learning experience by hiding numbers,
letters, colors, your child’s name, phone number, address, etc.
around the house and ask your child to find them.
Simon Says is a great game to practice by following
directions and position words like in, up, down, etc.
Bingo can be used to reinforce the recognition of numbers, letters
recognition, the difference between upper and lower case
letters, letter sounds, colors, etc.
You can have a scavenger hunt while shopping, driving, or at home
by seeing how many letters, numbers, colors or shapes you
child can find.
You can also play I see, I see, where you say: “I see with my little one
eye something that is … “and describes a letter, a number,
shape, color, etc. that you can see clearly. Your son then
try to guess what it is describing. Your child can also
take turns describing something (this helps develop
Children’s individual interests can also be incorporated
Blocks or Lego can be used to teach patterns.
(ask them to build towers with alternating colors), counting,
sort (separate blocks by colors, shapes, size), etc.
If your child likes to color, ask him to create rainbow strokes.
of letters or numbers tracing them with as many colors as
Play dough can be made into shapes, letters, and numbers.
An interest in cars and trucks can be used to learn how to
Trace telling your child to keep his car (crayon or pencil)
on the road (whatever is being tracked).
Interest in animals or dinosaurs can be used when learning
how to cut with scissors relating the opening and closing of
the scissors to open and close the mouth of an animal.
You can pretend that the animal is “eating” the lines of the paper.
Your child’s environment can also influence his readiness.
for the school. Provide a number and variety of books for your
child and taking the time to read to them is one of the
important things you can do for your education. Reading to a
the child teaches them vocal skills, vocabulary, listening skills,
Orientation from left to right, cause and effect, knowledge about the
world around them and pre-reading skills. The most important is
instill a love of reading and books that will benefit them
throughout their entire education. After all, every topic
(even math) requires reading.
Our brain absorbs information from our environment in a
conscious and unconscious level, and between 80-90% of all
the information absorbed by the brain is visual. Therefore,
provide visual displays in your child’s room or anywhere else you can
it really helps in learning. Things like the alphabet, colors,
numbers, etc. can be hung or displayed in places where your
the child will see them. Even magnetic letters on the fridge
it can aid in retention and learning. That is why many schools
have lots of visuals in hallways and classrooms.
Young children can also learn many concepts through music.
For example, they generally learn their abcs through the alphabet.
song. There are many children’s tapes available that teach
concepts through music. Play them in the car or while
your children’s play can help them learn. Although
they may not be singing or look like they are even paying
Attention, subconscious learning may be occurring.
You can also practice separating from your child during
short periods of time, such as signing up for a program or playing games
group or have them spend time with a babysitter. Separation
Anxiety can be traumatic for some children if they are not used.
being away from their parents, and this anxiety can inhibit
their ability to learn and relax at school.
Lastly, no matter what methods you try with your child, most
The important thing to remember is to make them enjoyable. Your
you want your child to associate positive feelings with learning.
Take turns choosing activities; give your son a choice
sometimes. This makes them feel less dictated and more
willing to learn. Also, offer them some variety in activities,
don’t always use the same learning methods all the time
This can lead to boredom and disinterest. Choose the methods
that work best with your child (every child is different) and
Children are like flowers, they all bloom at different times.
But parents can help nurture them by providing experiences that
allows them to become children who love to learn and