NEA Parents' Resources
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Getting Your Child Ready for Grade School Success

By the time your child is getting ready to start kindergarten, they’ve already taken in a lot of information to help get ready for school.

They have a basic understanding of themselves, their family and the world around them. Through play and observation, they see how people interact with one another.

But what other things can you do with your child to give them a leg up on their school careers? Here are some basics to get them kindergarten ready:

  • Read to your child. When you’ve finished a book, discuss what you just read to engage their critical thinking.
  • Visit the library. You can show your child how to find books and how to rent them. You can even attend story time at the library.
  • Sing rhyming songs with your child. It teaches them words and engaged their imagination.
  • Teach your child the letters of the alphabet. You can reinforce their learning with alphabet magnets on the fridge. And you can practice writing their name with them, and other simple words.
  • Teach your child basic colors by pointing and naming objects. Simple descriptions like “green tree,” “red apple” or “blue coat.”
  • Give your child puzzles and games that require counting or problem solving. You can also get them used to scribbling, drawing, writing, cutting and pasting. Early school years use all these skills.
  • Take your child to the zoo, park, grocery store, post office and pet store. Talk about the things you see, and how different things work. This helps develop their understanding of the world before school.
  • Dedicate time for your child to sing, dance, climb, jump, run and ride tricycles or bicycles.

Anything you can do to engage your child’s brain will get them ready for when teachers ask them questions in class. Critical thinking skills are key, and you can get your child thinking pretty much anywhere.

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