Before the school year starts, visit your school with your child. Look around, get familiar with the building, and meet teachers. Get familiar with the place so the first day of school is more comfortable for both of you.
Do an activity to help your child learn everyday. Before school starts, get your child in the habit of going to bed early so they can get plenty of rest. If you can, start a morning routine that you will use when school starts. Make a plan for how your child will get to school in the morning and how they will get home when school’s out. Most kindergartens start around 8am.
To prepare for the classroom, help your child learn to:
- Know all 26 letters of the alphabet
- Know their own name in writing
- Answer simple questions: who, what, when, where?
- Hold books upright and turn pages
- Count out loud from 1 to 20
- Add and subtract familiar objects,
- such as raisins or crayons
- Learn new words
- Know different shapes
There are fun ways to learn everyday. Point out new things when you are outside. Read to them and write with them. Practice counting when you shop together. Listen to their questions and try out different ways to play. Label things around the house with new words to learn. Create poster boards about what you’re learning together.
Kindergarten isn’t what it used to be—kids are learning more and they’re learning faster than twenty years ago. Ask your school for resources about what your child will learn, and spend time with your child’s new teacher to understand how they teach. Find out how to stay in touch during the school year. You can even volunteer in the classroom.
Raising kids is hard, but friends can make it easier. If you haven’t already, meet other parents who are preparing for kindergarten. There are many resources in our city, and here are just a few:
Parent Resource Centers across the city
Detroit Parent Network Support Groups
Education Detroit Parent Resource Guide
To attend kindergarten this year, your child must be five years or older on October 1. The state government changed this rule, and it’s different from last year.