• Beginning School

    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…Parent talking to child

    • 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.


    Learning Skills

    • 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).