The transition from preschool to a traditional kindergarten classroom is significant for children and their families in many ways. The change of schedule and environment aside, kindergarten is the first real stage of your child’s education, and while the lessons learned in the classroom are significant to building a strong educational foundation, the lessons learned at home are equally as important.
As you begin to transition your child and yourselves into kindergarten, bear in mind these parenting tips:
Read Frequently With Your Child
The ability to read is a marker that determines a person's potential for success in the future, and there are specific skills required for your young child to learn how to read. Just like any other skill, children learn reading with practice, and through exposure. Reading aloud to your children has many benefits, one of which is simply to promote creativity and imagination. In a world where bright and colorful stories are delivered to them on the big screen, reading aloud as a family provides opportunities for children to write their own creative and colorful stores in their own imaginations. Plus, hearing their parents read helps to expand a child’s vocabulary and comprehension skills.
Creative Playtime Is Valuable
In this age of technology, our children are as drawn to screens as we are. It’s a common practice for families to plug young children in front of educational television shows as a short-term distraction so mom and dad can make dinner or finish a report. There are several big problems with this, the first being we have little to no research showing the effects of screen time on children, and certainly longitudinal research showing long-term effects won’t be available for years, maybe decades. But the other downside to screen-time is that your children miss out on valuable creative play time that helps them to provides opportunities to grow mentally and emotionally as they practice problem-solving, learn to share, increase their dexterity, and express themselves creatively. Encourage your kindergartner to step away from technology and take on new creative endeavors that will help them be more prepared for their new classroom environment.
At the end of the day, mom and dad, you’re trying your hardest and doing a great job. And what your kindergartner needs most is engaged parents who are plugged into their changing needs as they grow. Children are born as creative and curious beings and as parents, you can continue to encourage that creativity as a strong foundation for their emotion, social, and academic education in kindergarten and beyond. If you have questions about kindergarten at St. Barnabas School or would like more parenting tips for kindergarten parents, contact us today.