SchoolFamily Voices

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The Summer Before Kindergarten

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Getting ready for Kindergarten was top on my mind on my way to work this morning.  You see, I was at a cookout last night with a bunch of families who had soon-to-be kindergarten kids and many of the conversations centered around back-to-school. Yes, it was the first official day summer and yes I did mean back-to-school. Schools in my town have only been out for two days and already parents were deluging these poor five and six year-olds with questions...

"Are you excited for kindergarten?"

"Do you know who your teacher is yet?"

"Are you going to work on your letters this summer?"

And my personal favorite:

"Are you learning to read yet?"

*cringe* I know these parents were well-meaning but these questions provoked anxiety in me, let alone a recent "pre-school graduate."  So a plea: whether you have a child going into kindergarten in the fall, or meet one at a cookout or the beach, please don't talk about school. Please, please let these kids be kids and enjoy the wonders of summer. 

As are parent, are there things you can do to get your child ready for the big school over the summer? Absolutely. But your child doesn't have to know that in the back of your mind you are thinking, " How can I prepare my child for kindergarten?" The possibilities of fun activities that involve learning are almost endless.  Some basic ways to sneak learning into summer are:


  • Cuddle and read to your child every chance you get.
  • Play games on a blanket in the shade.
  • Practice tying shoes and zippering jackets. (A self-sufficient kindergartener is a happy kindergartener.)
  • Explore nature and start collections.
  • Paint, draw, build, and create. 
  • If you are going on long car rides, play games or give your kids some some fun printable activities
  • Play. Play. Play. Imagination is so important to school success and emotional well-being. 


But please, steer clear of talking about school until right before the school year starts. 


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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?