Ideally, summer vacation has been relaxing, less stressful, and more laid back for your child. But now that August is halfway through, is she ready to gear up and start a new school year?
Here are 10 easy ideas to help your child boost confidence, brush up on skills, and ease back into a school routine.
For students about to enter kindergarten:
Practice alphabet recognition. Review the letters as partners (both upper and lowercase together). Teaching the letters as partners is easier—your child essentially learns 26 letters at once, rather than 52 if they are taught separately. Keep practicing until he can identify them randomly out of sequence, as well as in sequence.
Make sure she can legibly print her name. An easy way to practice this is to use a highlighter—any color except yellow, as yellow is too light. On a piece of white paper, print your child’s name, starting with a capital letter first and the rest lowercase. With a sharpened pencil, have your child trace her name inside the highlighted letters. The highlight provides a clear border for her to see how the letters are formed. The pencil can easily be seen inside the highlight color. Gradually eliminate one or two of the highlighted letters until she can easily print her name without them.
Practice counting orally to 20. Practice both forward and backward, as that will help him understand simple addition and subtraction.
For safety reasons, make sure your child knows his full name, address (street number and name, town, and state), and a phone number where you can be reached.
For 1st grade students:
Make sure he can identify the five vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and can say the short and long sounds of each.
Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.