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First Grade has been called “the hardest year” for students because of all the growth they make in this academic year. It is no surprise that education is changing, each year the expectations for students, parents, and teachers becomes more complicated. But I’m a first grade teacher here to tell you, your kindergartner will succeed!
As a teacher, I want to know if your kindergartner can do the following things:
*Treat others Kindly
*Try their Best
This summer in addition to practicing numbers and letters, help your child learn these three social skills to get your child ready for first grade.
Things are very black or white for first graders which can be a struggle at home and in the classroom. If your child struggles following directions at home they might also struggle with it at school. Check in with your child’s teacher and tell them about what works best for your child or what doesn’t. Work together with the teacher to help your child see you are on the same team. It doesn’t have to be all rules and no fun, you can make these into a game!
Practice at Home: Give your child a piece of paper and write four things you want them to find around the house. See if they can find the items in the right order! Play “Follow the Leader” let your child have a turn and then you take a turn! Don’t forget to praise them for following directions! “Thank you for putting your shoes by the door, that helps me a lot!”
Treat Others Kindly
Being 6 years old is tough! You are used to being the center of attention in most aspects of your life and you want that to continue! Most children are still very focused on themselves but are starting to crave friendships.
Practice at Home: Pause the T.V. Ask your child “Is _____ being kind right now? How would that make you feel?” Remind your child about the golden rule – Do to others what you’d want done to you.
Try your best!
Trying your best is not the same as “being the best.” Each brain is developed at a different rate and for a child who is behind, it’s important that they see the value in trying. Is it hard to see your child behind? Yes! And it’s just as hard to watch as a teacher. But working together makes all the difference for your child.
Practice at Home: Instead of doing things for your kindergartner ask “Can I see you try first and then I’ll help?” most times they are able to do the task on their own. Praise when they try and succeed and praise when they try and fail.
If you are stressing out about what your child can and cannot do entering first grade, rest assured that they will be fine. If they truly struggle with learning, their teacher will know and will do everything they can to keep you informed so your child can get the best support they deserve. If you can help your kindergartner develop these things before first grade, you will be on your way to another successful year of learning! Use this ready for first grade checklist to make sure you child get the start they need.