Back in the day when I was a kid, kindergarten was quite different than it is now. I remember going to school and coloring the letters of the alphabet, doing fun crafts, and getting to play in centers (the sand and water table being my favorite). Fast forward 25 years and things have changed drastically.
Now that I have actually worked as a kindergarten teacher, it’s amazing to see how things have changed, and continue to change over the years. Nap time is no longer a thing in most kindergarten classrooms. Centers and play time is a thing that is occasionally crammed into the end of the day if there’s any time left, or if the teacher is just done trying to teach the poor, exhausted children anything more for that day.
Kindergarteners are now expected to be reading by the end of the year. And I’m not talking about reciting a memorized story. They are expected to actually sound out and blend words to figure out what they say. They have to be able to read sight words such as “what,” “where,” “do,” and a very large list of others. They are also expected to be able to write sentences.
The first week of school often seems to leave parents in quite a shock and fluster when they realize that their child may be starting kindergarten “behind.” I’ve had several students enter my classroom being able to sing the alphabet and their parents think they are fully prepared for kindergarten. It’s a harsh reality when they come to find out that their child is in fact not fully prepared for the rigorous standards kindergarten now entails.
As a former educator and now parent, I can’t express enough the importance of working with your child before they ever enter an actual classroom. Kids that enter kindergarten with prior knowledge and an educational foundation have a much higher probability of being successful in school than those who do not. I have had several children come into my classroom and really struggle with their first year in school because they have not had their parents or anyone invest the time or energy into their education. These kids struggle and instead of having a fun, enjoyable first year of school, they are just trying to play catch up the whole year.
It’s so important for kids to enjoy the learning experience, and in order to do that it is absolutely necessary for them to feel successful. Working with your kids and showing them that they are smart and are able to learn, is vital in creating a foundation for them to not only build their education on, but also their self-worth.
The purpose of The Preschool Box is to give parents the tools to be able to easily work with and teach their kids the fundamentals of reading and math. It’s a great way for them to work with and show their children that they value their education and want to spend quality time with them as well. Whether you are an active subscriber to The Preschool Box or not, find ways to spend time with your kids doing fun, engaging, educational activities. It’s super easy to plop our kids in front of a tv and let that do our job of educating, but it’s so much more meaningful and effective when the effort comes from Mom and Dad. And the kids know it!