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Pre-Kindergarten Home Education

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Getting ready for kindergarten (KG) involves more than just learning the ABCs, it requires learning important skills; such as tracing the shapes of letters and numbers on paper, recognizing letters, and matching rhyming sounds.

Parents should teach their children some pre-kindergarten skills to facilitate their first formal learning experience, below are the kindergarten readiness skills to focus on as you work with your child:

1. Writing Skills

  • Help your child know how to hold the pencil accurately;
  • Help your child practice writing letters. Be sure that he/she forms the letters from the top to the bottom;
  • Coloring helps them to develop hand and finger coordination, and prepares them for future writing.
  • Give your child several different writing options; for example, colored pencils or crayons, to help keep him interested in writing and drawing. 

2. Letter Recognition

  • To help them learn the ABC, sing the old ABC song as you go for walks;
  • Once they know their ABC, you can teach them letter recognition by drawing the letters in the sand for example.

3. Beginning Sounds

  • Make your child aware of the sound that each letter makes;
  • Find items around the house that begin with the same sound and identify the letter that makes each sound;
  • Overemphasize the first sound in words to help your child hear the individual sounds in words.

 4. Number Recognition and Counting

  • Count throughout the day everything he/she plays with;
  • Point out the numbers you see in your environment.

5. Shapes and Colors

  • If your child is having trouble recognizing certain colors, you might add a little food coloring to cookie dough, milk or vanilla pudding to emphasize those colors;
  • Help your child recognize more difficult shapes; such as diamonds and rectangles, by showing how to draw them on paper and cut them out;
  • Play games in which your child finds objects of particular colors and shapes around the house or in the neighborhood as you drive.

6. Fine Motor Skills

  • Playing with play dough is a fun way to strengthen the muscles of the hand that will be later used for writing;
  • Give your child plenty of opportunities for outdoor play: running, jumping, and climbing;
  • Stack blocks together;
  • Play with an interlocking puzzle together.

 7. Creative Arts

  • Teach your child to recognize the following colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, white, brown, and pink;
  • Use a variety of materials to let your child paint, draw and explore.

8. Reading Skills

  • Run your finger under the words as you read to your child to help him/her learn that words are from left to right and top to bottom;
  • Play games with rhyming words to help your child hear similar sounds in words;
  • Read to your child for at least 20 minutes a day. While reading, teach him/her how to hold a book. 

9. Social Skills

  • Give your children opportunities to interact with other children in clubs, social groups or play dates;
  • Teach your child how to express his feelings if he/she does not like something;
  • Help him/her find solutions for typical problems he/she might encounter;
  • Tell your child that you expect him/her to clean up after play.

10. Learning Vocabulary

  • Teach them about body parts;
  • Read to them daily, even if they want to hear the same story over and over;
  • Talk about positional and directional concepts; such as up/down, in/out, off/on, etc.;
  • Talk about opposite words; big/small, empty/full, slow/fast.

While practicing any of these skills, remember to keep it fun and do not make it stressful for you or your child. With just a little fun practice, your child will be prepared for kindergarten.

References
commonsensemedia.org
education.com
getreadytoread.org
educatorssite.com

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