Kindergarten offers children the best possible start to a great education. During the regular school day, children are involved in many different kinds of activities designed to help young learners explore, discover and grow. They will have opportunities to initiate learning and play, as well as take part in more structured play-based learning under the guidance of a teacher and early childhood educator.
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Ways to Help Your Child
- Parents are the first and most important teacher for a child. Every moment that you spend with your child you are helping them to be the individual that they are. You know your child best. Be sure to communicate with your child’s classroom educators regularly so that you can work as partners to help your child succeed.
- Children learn best through play especially when an adult is involved in the play. Have fun with your child by continuing the traditional bedtime story, making regular visits to the public library; doing puzzles and playing board games; making things together; sharing letters; reading recipes and preparing the food together, identifying road signs while walking or driving, reading labels and advertisements; and singing or chanting nursery rhymes.
- It is important to talk to your child everyday about school, but during a school day a child is involved in so much that they can sometimes find it hard to express what they did. It. Trying asking your child specific questions such as: “Which centre did you like best today?” This will give them a focus for the conversation and they will usually say more.
- Children learn by exploring and experimenting in a hands on way. They may come home with many paintings and handiwork that seem ordinary to you, but are masterpieces of their heart and mind. Their work is actually a little window into their time at school. When they bring them home, take the time to ask them about their work and the thinking that went into it. Over the school year, you will see how their work changes and can even share that with them.
- Children who can self-regulate are more likely to succeed at school and life. Encourage them to try new things, persevere through a tough challenge, talk about and work through their emotions, attend to personal toilet habits and to dress themselves. It will make them more resilient for life and simply happier.
- Let children make decisions on simple matters that are important to them such as what to wear to school. It makes them feel valued, competent and capable and teachers don’t mind if a child’s clothes don’t match! J
- As you know, young children have lots of energy so physical activity and movement are part of the daily routine in school. In order for this to happen safely, children are required to be free of restrictive clothing. While pretty shoes and dresses look great, it makes it difficult for the child to participate fully at school and they may even get hurt. Please send your child in clothing and running shoes that are easy to put on and remove independently.
- Fashion trends are often repeated in a classroom. We usually get multiple book bags, lunch kits, coats, etc. that are identical. Young children often cannot see the subtle difference between their clothing and another students. Please label clothing, including shoes and boots.
- Play is fun and sometimes messy too. Please send your child an extra set of clothing that is labelled just in case.
- In Kindergarten, we are always building self-confidence through independence. Children love to be able to say, “I did it all by myself.” When purchasing new winter clothing or boots for your children, make sure that it is simple enough for children to handle by themselves: for example, hats without ties, a wide zipper, mittens without a tight cuff, slip-on boots, etc. It will give them self-confidence to be able to do it by themselves.
- Did you know that outdoor play actually reduces stress for all humans especially children. When your children are not in school, try to include at least one hour of active, outdoor play by going to a park, playing in the back yard, going for a bike ride or hike, etc.
- We all want what is best for our children. Young children need frequent healthy snacks to restore energy. At school, snacks might consist of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, or lean protein. The schools will often send home information about snacks. Please note that all our schools in CDSBEO are nut and peanut free.
- Contact the school to learn about the program. Talk with your children about the things they can do and enjoy at school.
Best Start Partners
Lanark Best Start Group – www.lanarkkids.ca