The 5 Best Ways to Rock Kindergarten Prep
Books are at the heart of our learning. They inspire questions and answer others. They build vocabulary and encourage important conversations.
Most importantly all this book reading we have done develops a love of books. Kids that love books want to learn to read.
Mine can't wait. They're dying to do it on their own.
Similar to learning to play on their own, I give my kids opportunities to work independently.
Jobs to complete.
Morning invitations to do while I get ready.
Space to figure out problems for themselves.
My kids have been doing chores around the house since they started toddling. This was the foundation for our kids becoming the independent little people they are today.
Before kids go to kindergarten they need to be able to do simple things on their own.
They need to be able to put on their coat and shoes on their own.
They need to be able to open packages and containers to eat their lunches.
They need to be able to use the bathroom and wash their hands independently.
They need to be able to tidy up a space on their own.
These things seem simple, but they can take up a lot of time if 32 Kindergarteners need their snack pack opened at lunchtime.
Mornings will be one of the biggest, hardest changes for us come September.
Right now we enjoy a slow morning. My son rises early and spends at least an hour creating in the kitchen before his sister wakes up. She shuffles around in her pajamas while she slowly wakes up. I take my time. Shower. Drink tea. Chat and read stories with them.
I'm not going to lie, it is pretty awesome.
This will all change in September and I don't want school day mornings to be a total shock.
To help prepare us for school mornings we are getting in some good habits.
*Laying out their clothes the night before and getting dressed first thing when they wake up.
*Practicing following morning routines independently without this Mama needing to constantly nag them.
*Leaving the house right away after breakfast - right now for the gym and not nearly as early as we will need to leave, but it helps cement the habit.
I want to enjoy what is left of summer and I want to enjoy the relaxed nature of our mornings for as long as possible, but I hope these baby steps towards more organized mornings will help in September.
The most important advice I gave new parents when I was working at a child care center was to share their excitement. Your child can always sense how you are feeling.
If you are excited, they will be excited.
If you are nervous, they will be nervous.
Certainly you've noticed that your kids tend to act out the most when you are desparate for them to be good because you're having a crappy day. They sense those emotions. Long before they can articulate their feelings, they feel them and reflect them back to you.
It is normal to feel a range of feelings and important that if your child has worries or fears that you talk about them, but separate those from your feelings.
I worry every day about my son's severe allergies being monitored by a stranger. He has never experienced anything but support and comfort.
I worry every day about the serious, stressful climate of today's schools. My kids don't have any understanding of the word stress.
I worry every day about the rigorous requirements being put on 5 year olds across the country. My kids are just eager to learn.
I share these worries with my husband. I talk them over with my parents and teacher friends. I think about them and research about them and contemplate but I do that away from my children.
I want them to have the best chance at a successful experience. When I talk about school with my kids I think about how much I enjoyed school. I think about the friends I hope they make in their new city. I think about the kindness of most kindergarten teachers. I think about shiny new notebooks and boxes of fresh tipped crayons lining the aisles at Target and I start to get excited.
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