Tag Archives: first day of kindergarten

Early Learning

Every bit of research that you will find on early learning will tell you that this plays a major roll in the development of a child’s brain. This includes cognitive, physical, emotional and social development. Because of these findings states are pushing for funding to help with early learning programs.

Early learning is more than just providing preschools. We have to incorporate the emotional and social needs of the children and meet these needs early on because they directly impact a persons life forever. Any kind of program won’t do. Kids need high quality experiences that enrich their minds and lives.
Policy makers have a big job when it comes to early learning. They have to identify what needs the children have that need to be met. Considering that it may take many different agencies and/or departments to meet these needs the policy makers need to find a way for these agencies to work together seamlessly on behalf of the child. And it doesn’t stop there. They then have to consider how this integrates into the early elementary education of the child. Will they just be cut off from some resources or will there be continuing care considering that early learning takes place for many years.
Schools are doing a lot to help these early learning efforts. Many offer all day kindergarten, have school counselors to help children cope with things going on at home or school that they need help with. The problem tends to be funding as well as focus. Schools need funding so that they expand and grow with the changing needs. They need funding to get high quality teachers and other employees that will make these programs shine. They also need the ability to be free of other extraneous issues so that they can focus on early learning. The importance of early learning cannot be expressed enough.

Homophones

Homophones are words that are spelled differently but pronounced exactly the same. Thus, they have different meanings as well. If a two homophones are spelled the same they are considered to be both homographs and homonyms. This can be seen in the following sentence:

The bear could not bear to be hungry any longer.

These words are phonetically the same and spelled the same but they are not anything alike in meaning. Not all homophones area spelled the same but as shown above, they can be. Many scholars of the English language will argue about whether or not to call this a homophone or a homonym. The meaning is basically there, it is really a matter of opinion on the technical aspect of things. For most educational purposes between kindergarten and high school the term homophone will suffice.
Homophones are great in word games and word play. It is great fun trying to solve different puzzles that may have a play on words or a pun. In these games you will often find multiple word homophones. These are technically considered oronyms. Some examples are:
ice cream I scream
depend deep end
stuffy nose stuff he knows
two lips tulips

These can make great exercises for students to get their brains to think in a whole new way. Word play can provide hours of entertainment and a lot of laughter. No matter what grade you are teaching you can have fun by implementing homophones into your curriculum.

Your Child’s First Report Card

School is starting and naturally there will be those Kindergarten students who have their first day of school. With this can bring joy, exuberance, fun, fear, anxiety, and stress among other emotions. These emotions do not just belong to the children but also the parents. If a child went to preschool the child and parent may be in a better position to know what to expect because there will be similarities. However, if a child did not attend preschool they will be just fine. Your child will be getting their first report card and this should be considered a time for communication and growth, not as a negative thing. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has some ideas on how to help families with the benchmarks of the report cards.

  • Talk – ask your child about their day at school, what they learned, who they played with and what went on in detail. Your student will love telling you about their day typically and if they don’t love talking about it you may want to ask the teacher if something is not okay. While all children are not prone to conversation, most love to talk about themselves, this is just normal behavior. Use it to your advantage, it is part of being involved in the child’s education.
  • Talk more – but this time talk to the teacher. Ask if they are available by phone, email or if they have a class website to keep parents and the class connected. Whatever you do, make this a positive relationship if you possibly can. The parent/teacher relationship should be one of mutual respect with a goal of what is good for the child.
  • Be open with your child. Tell them what you discuss with the teacher. Tell them their strengths and bring up the things they are beginning to master. Be sure to keep positive wording in the conversation so the child feels like they can really conquer the subjects and tasks they are working on in school.
  • Besides staying positive, be sure to give much praise. Make a big deal out of work well done and skills that get mastered. This will build your child’s self esteem and help them throughout their whole lives.

It is important to talk to your child about report card time. Let them know that this is just a generalized report of how things are going overall in the eyes of their teacher. Be sure to let them know that if there are things that need to be worked on that you will be there to assist them and that they CAN master the skills necessary to have a positive report card.

Other things that can make all the difference on how your child views report cards and will also result in better grades or remarks are: stay involved in your child’s education (not just during the school year but all year), get to know the teachers, know the classroom and volunteer as much as you possibly can, read to your child everyday, set the example that education is important and that learning is a lifelong and enjoyable journey, be aware of the school calendar, help with field trips and be sure to know what is going on in the class from day to day, attend all parent teacher conferences and open houses that are held, oversee homework, help the child be prepared each day, look over their work that they are handing in, know what criteria the teacher is basing the grades on, limit video game and television time, and finally establishing routine is key to a child’s development. Kids do well when they know what the expectations are and what the consequences are as well as knowing the family schedule.

When you get involved in your child’s education everybody wins. You will be there first hand to watch your child blossom right before your eyes. There is not greater reward!

First Day of Kindergarten

No matter what type of education (public school, private school, homeschool, charter school) you have chosen for your Kindergarten student it is an exciting time for the whole family. Here we will discuss things that you may want to go over with your child before they go into the big world of schooling. Also, we will go over a few things that are great rituals to do with your child that will be comforting to them, help them have a say in what happens and to help them get excited about going to school.

Have a routine!

You may want to make a chart or a cute list to post somewhere that the child will readily see it. Also, if your child is not reading yet, either teach them the sight words on the list or put pictures next to the words. Don’t just use pictures as the child should be getting used to learning sight words and learning to read.

On your list you may want to include the everyday things like brushing teeth, washing face, making the bed, taking laundry to where it goes, picking up the room, getting dressed, eating breakfast, getting the back pack ready, packing the lunch, combing hair. This will ease the stress of the early morning madness for you and the child. Children love to know what is expected of them, they find comfort in routine.

Lunch!

If you choose to make your own lunches let your child help you shop for the items that will be needed. Let them have as much input as possible as to what they eat for lunch. A great way to do this while still getting the nutrition that is needed is to offer two options and let them choose. If you don’t use a lunch box or don’t want to keep track of one you can let the child decorate some regular lunch sacks that will have their name on them and any other information the school requires. Children love to decorate things and to take ownership of things that adults take for granted. The child will find comfort in knowing that at lunch time they will be able to easily identify their individual lunch and that it will be satisfying because they chose the items in it and are excited about them.

Homework!

More and more children are coming home with homework in Kindergarten. Homeschool families don’t have the same issue with homework but both types of families need a good study spot that is conducive to learning. Make sure that the area is free of distractions and well lit. Make it comfortable for the child. If they need extra cushions on the chair so that it is the right height make sure they have what they need. This will make homework a time that is comfortable and peaceful rather than distracting and miserable.

Before the first day of school!

Talk to you child about safety. Tell them what do should they be asked to leave the school with someone. Make sure they know where you will be when school is over and assure them that they are in good hands with their teacher. If they can meet the teacher ahead of time and see the classroom it will feel like a comfort zone to them and things will be better.