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Parents are often eager to work with their incoming kindergartener over the summer to prepare for their first year of school, and while educators stress it isn’t necessary, it can be a helpful boost to children.
Carlena Sheeran, the early childhood director for Hardin County Schools, said kindergarten teachers take children at the level they enter school and work with them from there.
But if parents want to keep the education process going at home, she said, reading to the child is the best way to do that. It will get them familiar with language and listening to stories will be a common part of their day when they start school.
Parents can work on letters, upper and lowercase, and work with them on holding pencils and forming the letters.
Sheeran said parents often have the misconception that children should enter kindergarten already reading and writing to some degree, and that’s not true. That age shows a wide amount of diversity as far as development, and parents shouldn’t worry when they see that some 5-year-olds can do what their own child can’t. Often it can be because they haven’t had the opportunity to practice that particular skill, she said.
Throughout the year, students will learn their letters, basic addition and subtraction, colors, social studies concepts such as family units, communities and holidays and science lessons dealing with subjects like seasons and senses. These are areas in which parents can expect growth during kindergarten.
Kim Crowder, a kindergarten teacher at Howevalley Elementary School, said the most important thing that a kindergarten student can come in with is a willingness to learn. If they have that, they can start with any skill level.
But parents who want to work with their children can find a lot of ways to work lessons into their daily routine, with things as simple as asking them “what shape is that?” as they ride in the car.
Parent Angela McCray is working on spelling and sounds with her son, Carter, who will be starting kindergarten at Rineyville Elementary School. He knows the alphabet, numbers, shapes and colors.
McCray wants to “try to get him ahead of the game,” she said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or email@example.com.
Academic skills that can help
in starting kindergarten
- Match one-to-one when counting
- Sort objects by size, color and shape
- Recognize patterns and repeat them
- Count to 10
- Identify shapes
- Recognize name and letters in name
- Comprehend meaning in books\
- Recognize rhyming words
Source: Hardin County Schools