Thanks to all of the snow this past winter, we won’t be finishing school for another 2 ½ weeks, but I know that in many other schools Kindergartners are preparing to end their school year. Teachers are just as excited about the upcoming vacation as the children are, but vacations worry us as well. We know that many/most of our children will lose a great deal of their acquired skills from Kindergarten during the summer vacation and what concerns us even more, is that it doesn’t have to be that way. No teacher would expect your child to continue doing school work for hours each day, but we do ask/expect/recommend that your child spend some time each day working on school work. The best way to do this is to establish a time at your house that works for both parent and child. It could be first thing in the morning when your child is the freshest, or after lunch when he/she needs a break from outdoor activities, or even in the evening after dinner. Set a time for your child, say 20 – 30 minutes, and stick to this time every day. Children love routines and your child will do best when he/she knows that every day will include this time for school work. Many parents like to spend summer by teaching the academics that will be taught in first grade in the fall, but that is not necessary. Simply put:
- Your child needs to write in a journal every day of the summer, no exceptions!
- Your child needs to be read to and also have a chance to explore books on his/her own every day of the summer, no exceptions!
- Your child needs to work with numbers and number concepts (card games, board games) every day of the summer, no exceptions!
Reading readiness skills such as letter recognition, sound-letter knowledge, story re-telling and understanding the concept of print have been worked on every day of your child’s Kindergarten year, but these skills disappear quickly when left untouched. Number recognition to 30 but to 100 would be better, patterns, and simple addition and subtraction should also be reviewed. You will be helping your child to be successful in first grade if you help him/her now not to lose any of the crucial skills that he/she will need when he/she gets there.