This post is sponsored by KinderCare. As always all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
1. Teach your child manners.
For of course school, but more importantly life your child needs to learn manners. Teach them interrupting is not polite, use the words please and thank you and show them why it’s important to be kind and helpful.
2. Make at home educational experiences relatable and fun.
The more you can use relatable things to teach your child new concepts the more engaged they will be and the less it feels like “work”. Show your child early on that learning is fun. I have a super cute example for you guys. Right now we are getting closer and closer to Halloween so spooky spiders and pumpkins are what I used to work on exposing Izzy to measurement.
First I cut out a big and small pumpkin. Then we used halloween spiders as a form of measurement. We talked about which pumpkin was big and which was small. Then we guessed which would be longer and which would be shorter. Then I let Izzy line the spiders up across the pumpkin and we counted how many went across each one. After this I wrote down the answers and we discussed which number was bigger and which was smaller. Ultimately she was exposed to a new form of measurement other than a measuring tape or ruler. During this activity she was exposed to the concepts measuring, big/small, longer/shorter & more/less. This activity can be recreated no matter the season with things you may be discussing or relatable to an experience your child recently had. i.e. If you just went to the aquarium, you could cut out fish and measure them with pretend fish scales using buttons.
After we measured the pumpkins and discussed big/small and which fit more/less spiders, Izzy decorated one pumpkin and worked on writing her name on the other.
3. Encourage mature language and self help skills.
Self help skills include cleaning up after themselves, dressing themselves and using the bathroom independently. I have always worked with Izzy on her independence. It does take more time at first, however all that hard work will pay off as they begin to do things on their own, without your help. I typically gave Izzy hand over hand support. i.e. When dressing I would place Izzy’s hands on her pants and put mine on top of hers so she felt the motion and she the steps needed to get her pants on. I also have items such as step stools in the bathrooms so she can reach the sink on her own and therefore wash her hands independently. Speaking in full sentences is an important routine for your child to be in. When your child speaks with you, be sure they are using full sentences. I know all about those one to a few word responses, or questions and the infamous whining noises. Repeat to your child the full sentence you think they are wanting to say or if whining remind them, use your words. i.e. Child: “Cookie, please.” Adult: “I love how you used the magic word please. I want to hear a full sentence like this. Mom, can I have a cookie please.” Then have your child repeat it back to you.
4. Place your child in childcare with verified research to positively impact your child’s learning.
KinderCare has just these results! The TerraNova and Brigance results are in and they are amazing! Did you know the longer kids stay enrolled in KinderCare, the better prepared they are. Results show children enrolled in KinderCare for a year or more will see large improvements in their development compared to what’s expected. Actually studies show that even just a few months with KinderCare makes a difference. Research also verifies kids are showing up to Kindergarten with first grade confidence and the academic skills they need to succeed in school. You may not know this but children with higher levels of school readiness at age five are generally more successful in grade school. This decreases their chances or dropping out of high school, and increases their chances of earning more as adults.
“Beyond teaching young children the developmental and social skills they need for general success, the TerraNova results prove that KinderCare Education helps students show up to kindergarten and first grade confident they have the academic skills needed to flourish,” said Wei-Li Chong, President of KinderCare Learning Centers and KinderCare Education at Work.
5. Make sure you read, read, read!
I know if you are working full time you may not have a lot of time at night with your child during the week. Add reading 2 books every night before bed to the routine. It’s important for your child to learn early literacy skills such as the letters on the pages make words that we can read, we read left to right and books can give us knew knowledge and/or just contain fun fictional stories.
I hope these few steps help you feel more prepared for how to help and encourage your child flourish in school and ultimately life.