Since the PEEP and kindergarten years will lay the foundation for future learning, both parents and teachers are anxious for children to get a good start in school. Below are some suggestions to help your child experience early success:
- Have your child’s birth certificate and immunization records, as well as two proofs of residency documents, with you when registering for school.
- Prepare your child for school by telling him/her that school is a happy place where he/she will have many new experiences. Share the learning excitement!
- Teach your child the safest route to and from school.
- Send your child to school fed and well-rested.
- Teach your child his/her first name, last name, and address.
- Send your child to school regularly and on time.
- Call your child’s school if he/she will be absent for any reason.
- Send a note to the teacher when your child has been absent, including the child’s first and last name, the date(s) of absence, the reason for the absence, and your signature.
- Show an interest in your child’s school experience. Take his/her learning very seriously and give praise often.
- Plan to attend both fall and spring parent - teacher conferences to discuss your child’s progress.
- Feel free to call and make an appointment to visit your child’s classroom.
- Please call the teacher or the principal if you are worried about a problem at school.
- Provide comfortable clothing for your child that he/she can button, zip, snap, or tie.
- Put your child’s name on sweaters and any outdoor clothing.
- Teach your child good health habits which include the following: washing hands, toilet needs, covering mouth when coughing or sneezing, and using a handkerchief or tissue.
Establishing a Positive Home Environment
Parents are the first and most important teachers a child will ever have. The home is a powerful factor in determining how well a child will do in school. Parents want their child to succeed in school and often ask, “How can I help?” The ideas in this booklet are intended to help you continue to be your child’s most important teacher.
- Set work and play schedules.
- Share duties and household chores.
- Praise your child’s accomplishments.
- Read together every day.
- Regularly visit a library or museum.
- When working with your child, be patient and allow time for learning.
- Respect your child by listening and encouraging his/her efforts.
- Describe/say what your child is doing while he/she is doing it. This shows you care and expands thinking and vocabulary.
How to Talk with Children
To get the conversation going…
- Bend at the knee or sit at eye level across from the child.
- Smile and lean slightly forward.
- Say what you see the child doing.
- Say what you hear the child saying, slightly rewording it.
- Pause, giving the child a chance to respond.
- Take turns talking.
- Invite a child to tell you a story.
- Share and talk about stories from books.
- Ask a child to show you how to do something.
- Use the child’s name often and always in a positive way.
- Talk with your child. Answer questions, name things, talk about what you are doing, and encourage your child to talk about what he/she is doing.
- Encourage your child to remember things seen on a walk or during a visit to a new place (such as street signs, restaurants, play areas, and schools).
- Have your child close his/her eyes and tell about the different sounds he/she can identify (such as water running, a door closing, or a clock ticking).
- Teach your child to follow simple directions (pick up a glass and then put it in the sink, for example).
- Have your child identify objects by touch (eyes closed). Help him/her use descriptive words, such as soft, smooth, rough, small, etc. (such as hard apple, short pencil, big book).
- Show your child a group of objects. Cover the objects and remove one. Uncover. Have your child guess which one is missing.
- Play “I see something.” Say, “I see something that is…” and describe it by color, shape, size, texture, and possible use. Take turns after your child has learned the game.
- Talk with your child about letters of the alphabet they see in the environment. Ask your child to name letters he/she sees, letters in his/her name, etc.
- Model writing, (such as making a grocery list together or sending a card).
- Encourage your child to begin writing letters. This could include writing his/her name or the names of family members.
- Play rhyming games with your child that encourage listening to sounds (such as bat/hat).