Sometimes, when I think about R starting kindergarten, I feel like a bad country song: oh me, oh my, life is changing, woe is me, blah, blah blah.
Other times, I’m looking forward to it—especially when I ask R how he feels about starting at the local elementary school in September: “I’m excited,” he says.
I’ve decided to embrace his excitement, and build on the tips I discussed last week.
So, this week, in my quest to get R (and our family) ready for kindergarten, we’re going to a meet-up to get to know other children who will be starting in kindergarten with R, and we’re hosting another such gathering. Having a community will be important, not only next year, but during the years that follow. These connections will also help us feel more at home in our town, a place we moved to two years ago.
We’re also working on ways to ensure the academic progress R’s has reached in PreK doesn’t get lost during the summer. Experts say that all kids lose ground—in math, reading or other areas—if they don’t engage in learning activities over the laid-back, relaxing summertime.
Fortunately, our PTA (yes, I joined the PTA!), sent out an email just the other day with a kindergarten reading list! Who knew such a thing existed? It was complied by our library, and features a selection of age-appropriate books for parents and children to read together. Our list for our next library visit is getting longer and longer.
You can find such a list for your child by asking your local librarian for help and by checking out the do-it-yourself “reading camp” materials for kids, developed by Education.com and PBS KIDS, which can be found here.
R has also been interested in educational workbooks my mom picked up for him that include word games, math problems, and other exercises to help him apply what he’s been learning at school. He takes these workbooks to bed at night, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find him under the covers with a flashlight and a pen trying to finish up the pages before he falls asleep. PBS Kids (we’re big fans in our house) has similar tools on its website, including free educational resources, packaged in fun games, apps and printable activity sheets.
Most importantly, we’re talking about kindergarten, getting him used to the idea and discouraging those country songs. After all, nobody wants to hear me sing!
From time to time this summer, I’ll be sharing updates on our journey to kindergarten. As always, you’re welcome to share your suggestions in the comments or on our Facebook page.