5 tips for parents with children starting kindergarten.
Get them comfortable with numbers
I am not saying that your kid has to be a maths genius that is solving algebra at 5 years old. However, mathematics is the subject that causes the most difficulty for the highest percentage of students. This can start at a young age. Being behind, to begin with, may mean that they are playing catch up all the way through high school.
Something as small as counting with your child can be a great benefit for them. How many ducks are in the pond? How many years old is dad? Find any opportunity to get them feeling like they can do it. Confidence is key!
Once your child can count, you could buy a cheap set of counters. You could also use anything you have lying around the house like paperclips, pens, or stuffed toys. These can introduce them to basic addition on subtraction. For example, place out 5 counters, get them to count them out, then put an extra 2 in, and ask how many there are now.
You can do this to introduce multiplication too. “If there are 3 groups of 2 counters how many are there when you put them together?” You can of course let them count to find the answer. This is just about building confidence to prevent a fear of math.
Read with them
Reading is another area that many students struggle with when they start school. Some children pick it up very quickly, others struggle for years to overcome this hurdle. To give your child the best chance of becoming a good reader, early exposure is imperative.
You could read to them and as they progress get them to read too.
Continuing to read with them throughout their early years of school is extremely beneficial too. Reading is obviously needed for every other subject so it is great to start from a strong base.
Don’t pass on your negativity
You may have hated a subject at school. Expressing this to your child could prevent them from having success in that particular area. I have had many students over the years tell me that they hate math or physical education. On many of these occasions, they haven’t even had enough exposure to the subject to form their own opinions yet. Kids are like sponges and absorb all the information around them. This includes the opinions of adults they love and respect.
If you show a good attitude toward learning (even if you secretly hate it) it is much more likely that your child will too. Put your own feelings aside for the sake of your kid’s education.
Get them to learn an instrument
Learning an instrument is a fantastic way to instill self-discipline and creativity. It can also be a great way for kids to make friends in the school band.
You don’t have to become a tyrant about practice. Yet, a consistent routine can help build a healthy attitude towards learning. This positive attitude can spill over to other subjects too.
Teaching an instrument that you already know or learning one together can be a great way for you and your child to bond. Just don’t get upset if they progress faster than you! Those young minds are amazing at learning new skills.
Here are a few tips for keeping your child motivated to practice an instrument.
Sign them up for a sports team
There is no denying that the social aspect of school life is almost as important as academics.
Getting your child involved in sports is a great way for them to learn social skills in a structured environment. A coach is also a similar authority figure to a teacher. It will help them get used to listening to other adults which will help them in school.
If playing sport doesn’t work out well you could perhaps try scouts. Any other clubs where your child can socialize with other kids would be fine too.
Chris Daniel is the owner of incitemusic.com. He has worked as an elementary, high school, and music teacher. He has over 10 years of experience in these areas.