Mrs. Lally & Mrs. Priebracha

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    To prepare kids for kindergarten, it may help to practice these skills:

    Reading

    • Read aloud to your child every day using all kinds of age-appropriate reading materials — poetry books, picture books (even those without words), nonfiction, magazines, even catalogues.
    • Don't hesitate to read favorite books over and over again.
    • Move your fingers under the words as you read.
    • Let them finish certain lines ("I do not like green eggs and.... / I do not like them, Sam....").
    • Ask them to point out letters or words they might recognize as you read.
    • Sound out words slowly once kids can recognize all of their letters.
    • Point out letters as you drive, shop, walk around the house, etc.
    • Talk about the story afterwards — how it began, what happened in the middle, what they thought of the ending, and which characters and parts they liked best and why.
      Math
    • Count together as often as you can — while you walk up and down stairs, put away toys, dole out snacks, color with crayons, swing at the playground, play with blocks, put groceries in your cart, etc.
    • Start counting things up to 5 early on then work up to 10, 15, and 20.
    • As you count, stop at a certain point (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6…) and encourage kids to figure out what comes next.
    • Read picture books highlighting numbers and encouraging counting.
    • Look for and point out numbers (1 to 10) everywhere you go — on street signs, license plates, in catalogues, on food boxes, in stores, etc.
    • Teach kids their age — how to count it on their fingers, then eventually how to recognize, trace, and then write the number.

    Try to make early learning a fun, everyday activity. Nurture and praise your child's academic and social strengths and efforts, and help your little one work on (but never emphasize) weaknesses.

    Source: "School Readiness and Later Achievement," Developmental Psychology, November 2007.