Kindergarten readiness


        Parents have asked me if there are things they can do to help their soon-to-be kindergartner be ready for school. Here are some things to consider during the summer that leads up to kindergarten.

Keep lots of books in your home.

        Include fiction and non-fiction. Not all books need to be new; you can get very inexpensive books at library book sales, used book stores, and garage sales. Visit your library weekly and check out the limit.

Talk to your child.

        Explain things. When you use descriptive vocabulary, you are giving excellent preparation for words that your child will read in books and hear in other venues.

Provide lots of opportunity for your child to write.

        Have a variety of paper and writing tools on hand. When she writes, stress the formation of lower case letters.

Make your child aware of numbers around her.

        Count objects, identify numbers you see, and share your thinking when you figure out problems that use math.


Spend time with your child.

        There is no substitute for this. He benefits more from time with you than from material possessions you can buy with the money you earn when you are not together.

Limit television, videos and movies that your child sees.

        This is a passive activity that also has a negative impact on learning to read. It takes no imagination; your child's sense of imagination is enhanced by reading - not by these sources.

Give your child responsibilities at home.

        Jobs help children to feel part of a community, whether that community is a family or a classroom group. Don't worry about perfection; that is less important than the act of doing the work and making the contribution.

Don't give your child everything he wants.

        He certainly will not get everything he wants at school! Teachers have too much to do than to have to settle disputes with children who will cut only with the pink scissors or who have to sit in the green chair.

Respect the differences you see among other people.

        Our society is rich with people whose language, dress, and food show tremendous variety. Talk about the acceptance of other people and show an interest in their culture.

This column has been incorporated and expanded in Teach Your Children Well: A Teacherís  Advice for Parents.

All columns are copyright © Jay Davidson.  Permission is hereby granted for individuals to download and copy them for individual use.  There is a modest charge for printing these columns in any publication.  To receive that permission, contact   Jay Davidson