Preparing Your Child For Kindergarten

September 14, 2011 by  
Filed under General

I should probably term this post preparing mommy for kindergarten, because I will be the one next year crying as my boys disappear into the doors of their elementary school.  I happen to want my boys to have fun and, of course, succeed, but I am a little jealous that someone else will now be able to watch my children learn and grow.  The alternative would be to home school but I think I lack the patience to do it and feel like my boys just want to get out there and go.

So with this being their last year at home, I am decided to investigate little way in which I can get them ready for kindergarten.  Here are some really great ideas to give them a leg up.

Practice writing his/her first and last name
1. Have your child practice writing his/her name using a variety of tools such as a Magna Doodle, crayons, pencils, and markers. Check that your child is gripping the writing utensil correctly. You may even consider having your child practice writing his/her name using different items around the house such as pudding, rice, sand, or shaving cream.
*** Be sure that your child uses a capital letter only at the beginning and lowercase for the rest of their name.  So far my boys can only do all capitals, I guess it’s time to teach them lower case!

2. Write your child’s name in large letters (or use magnetic letters). Say each letter aloud as you write or place it so your child can associate the name of the letter with the shape of the letter.
3. Cut apart the letters of your child’s name (or use magnetic letters) and have him/her put them back in the correct order saying the name of each letter while doing so. (Start with just the first name, adding the last name only when they have mastered this.)
4. Label your child’s door or other objects so his/her name can be seen in print.

Practice recognizing and writing the numbers 0 to 10 (or higher)
1. Read and enjoy counting books together.

2. Point out numbers in license plates, in the store, in your home, and all around you.
3. Use magnetic numbers to have your child practice naming them. Have your child put the numbers for your phone number in order saying each number while doing so.

4. Practice writing numbers with a variety of materials such as pencils, crayons, markers, sidewalk chalk, etc…as in name writing above.

5. Have your child count object like their snacks, or buttons on their shirt

Practice naming letters in the alphabet correctly.

1.  Recognize letters on street signs, in restaurants, and on billboards and favorite books

Recognize Primary Colors

1. Sort candies, bright colored buttons, etc by colors.

Practice naming and recognizing basic shapes

1.  Look around the room and recognize shapes in your home

2.  Practice drawing and recognizing shapes

Practice your phone number and address

1.  Have your child practice dialing their number on a play phone

Practice Coloring in the lines and Cutting in straight lines

1.  We like to cut out shapes, and pictures in magazines.

2.  Provide coloring pages with large illustration and well defined lines and challenge them to stay within the lines.

These are just some basic things you can do with your child to get them ready.  If your child seems frustrated after so many attempts then stop and try again another day.  I find that when they get frustrated all learning flies out the window.  Make learning fun and interesting as if it is no big deal and they seem to do so much better.

I know I am not ready for them to go, but if I can get them as ready as they can be for the classroom, it will help them succeed!

 



When One Is Ready For Kindergarten

February 28, 2011 by  
Filed under General

Having twins and being new parents has been an interesting ride thus far.  Both of our boys have two completely different personalities, they play differently with the same toys, and they both learn at a relatively different rate.   The only thing that they are the same for, is their clothes and shoe size.

Both me and my husband have sort of reached a dilemma, and one we have ultimately made a decision on for the time being.  One of our boys is clearly ready for kindergarten, and we can see that he gets bored easily with a lot of things that his brother is still interested in or hasn’t mastered yet.  Our one lil monkey learns at lightening speed (like his dad in a lot of ways), he masters things and moves on relatively quickly, our other monkey just isn’t quite there yet but is right on task for a four year old, but he really has to focus on things (there is nothing wrong with this and that’s how I was as a kid).

Both of them turn 5, like 2 months before the school year starts, so they would be considered a very early 5 and being boys, really lack a lot of maturity as far as sitting still, and really being in a structured environment, I think.  They are both relatively good mannered, but I see some indicators that they just aren’t ready.  It was a hard decision to make, because I know that one of them is ready and the other isn’t, and you cannot just hold one back and send the other when you have twins.  Both my husband and I, have slowly begun to devote individual time to both of them, and that has been helping.

So, now I have been looking for ways to kind of bring them to the same page, to where the one doesn’t get bored and still gains information that peaks his curiosity and eagerness to learn and at the same time brings my other lil guy to where he needs to be in the areas he is struggling with.  I never realized how hard having twins would be and all the things you have to really think about and adjust for one kid over the other.  I never like to compare them, and I encourage them both the same, and I definitely would never want one to feel inferior in any way to the other.  I hear about siblings and rivalry and competition and I am praying for very little of that.

It is hard, because the only thing I want for them is to be happy and succeed in the things that they do.  I think that is what all parents wish for.