This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of K12, the leader in online education for grades K-12 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Is your child ready for Kindergarten? Have you prepared your child for Kindergarten? Preparing your child now can make them ENJOY school so much more in the future! Its not too late- its never too late to help your children!
I want to tell you what I saw when I taught Kindergarten:
I saw children coming into Kindergarten reading. They were writing. They were adding.
I saw children coming into Kindergarten not even recongnizing letters or numbers.
Now let me tell you the truth of what this means for your child….
Your child will love school so much more if they aren’t constantly playing ‘catch up’. I saw it time & time again.
Your child will grow from where they are, so if you start your child behind, they will struggle to stay afloat. If you give your child an advantage and start them ahead of the game, academically, they will continue to soar.
I have seen, through my students, and through my own children, the benefit of being prepared.
Our children have entered (or will enter) into Kindergarten already reading and writing full sentences. (They will enter into school having played through most of their learning because we learn through play at this age, but I also set aside time every day where we sit down and write or sit down and read.)
They will enter reading books. (Two teachers have told me, in the past month, that children need to come INTO Kindergarten already reading to stay ahead with the newer, harder curriculum being presented to our children).
Why do I prepare my children like this? I do this because I saw how it changed things with my own students. When I was a teacher, my higher-level thinkers were more confident. They were prepared and they moved up quickly. They moved in their higher-reading groups or higher-math groups through all of the grades in school. I don’t think they any child really starts out “smarter” than others at a young age, I just think that they are better-prepared and held to higher standards.
The good news is that these high-achieving students were given extra opportunities: They were taken out of class to do extra enrichment activities, like learn a new language, do a fun project or learn new and exciting math problems. They were given these wonderful chances because they didn’t risk falling behind if they missed class to do something else. Usually, they would be pulled from class while I was teaching something basic, that they had already mastered.
So, how do I prepare my own children?
Read every single day for at least 20 minutes. I prefer 30 minutes.
Starting when they are two, they learn their letters, sounds and their numbers.
Three years old: Start putting letters together to make the AT words and other word families. EmbarK¹² Online is a good place to go for this. (Use magnetic letters, write these words in sand, paint the words…)
Four years old: Introduce new word families. Introduce Kindergarten dolch words (I want our kids to have conquered this list BEFORE going into Kindergarten). Make fun rhymes, sing silly songs “The cat sat on the rat and the rat yelled “YIKES!!”
Five: Teach them a pre-k curriculum (I will introduce one in #6) or put them into a Transitional Kindergarten class (a 5 year old class at a preschool) where they are more independent and working hard, writing stories, reading stories, etc…
Get them involved in a preschool-like setting. Computer time is wonderful for our children and my students! I use EmbarK¹² with my 3, 5, and 7 year olds. It is an online preschool program that includes EmbarK¹² Comprehensive and EmbarK¹² Online. It is just a fun way for your child to learn. Our kids LOVE to learn. They do worksheets for fun. They play on EmbarK¹² when they have free time, they just love to learn. Here is one of our son’s favorite activities:
If you want to give it a try for free, just click here: Kindergarten readiness programs by K12. Try a sample activity today.
Instead of TV time for down-time, I try to give them learning time online. They would rather “play” online anyways and now they are learning!
What I love is that it was designed to be self-guided and independent learning among children ages 3-6. They need to be independent in Kindergarten, so teaching them this at home is important. (Not too independent, of course, but enough to do their work on their own with you as the observer, not the facilitator)
Work with them in small, managable increments. I try to stick to 20 minutes at a time for teaching time at home. It keeps it fun & the kids don’t really notice that we are doing anything more than spending time together, making up fun stories or reading great books.
Do more than just reading! We go to the park and do science and math lessons. We work with what is around us.
Encourage them! I continue to work with our children, every night. Our oldest son loves to read books online (its hard to keep up with readers, even with many trips to the library!) and he works on math skills online in the evenings- it is actually a homework assignment from his teacher.
I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.