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.
- Practice adding to get multiples of 10.
- Make sure he can recognize rhymes and at least 12 basic starter words. (See “Build True Reading Comprehension this Summer.”)
For students entering 2nd grade:
- Practice counting forward and backwards to 100. This is a great activity to do in the car.
- Help her distinguish the sounds of long and short vowels and understand that adding the silent (magic) “e” at the end changes the vowel from short to long. Can becomes cane, kit becomes kite, etc.)
- When reading stories together ask her to identify characters, setting, and the main idea of the story to check comprehension. Help her go back and reference the story, if needed.
Simple review and practice of basic skills helps your child gain confidence and get ready for a new school year, all while having some late summer fun with you!