The Parents Role in Kindergarten
Studies have shown that when parents are involved in their children’s education their children perform better in school and increase their chances of attending college. It also shows their children that they value learning and how important their child’s progress is to them.
What can parents do to support their child and be involved in his education?
There are many different methods to achieve this. Here are ten suggestions.
1. Express interest in your child’s education. Be aware of what your child is learning and the importance of it.
2. Support your child’s learning. Try to find fun activities that you can do together related to subjects that your child is learning about. For example, if your child is learning about the letter B then during your next visit to the supermarket or mall ask your child to point out objects that start with the letter B. There are also many activities related to each of the letters of the alphabet on this site. You can do them together in order to make learning fun.
3. Provide encouragement when your child shows you her schoolwork and/or art work.
4. Read with your child as often as possible. Listening to stories and books enables children to improve their vocabulary, extend their knowledge, and become familiar with the language.
5. Listen and respond to what your child says
Talk to your child about life at school to get a better understanding of what he is going through and how he feels. Some kids don’t offer information unless they are asked and some still don’t share even when you ask them too. I found a good way to get my kids to share. Every day when I went to get them from school I would ask what the highlight of their day was. After that, I would then ask them what the worst part of their day was. I found this to be very effective and over time I would eventually hear about all issues that bothered my kids or those that made them happy. The game was also fun and I always managed to get my kids to tell me how they are feeling. On the days that I didn’t ask specific questions I would get the standard answer: “fine”, “fun” or “OK”.
6. Participate in activities at school such as parent conferences or volunteer on the school council. Not everyone has the time to do this but those that do have an opportunity to change issues that need to be addressed whereas other parents might not even be aware of these issues.
7. Communicate with teachers and ask to be updated about your child’s progress. Work with the teacher to improve and facilitate your child’s progress. Children vary in their levels of development. For some kids kindergarten will be more challenging than for others. Monitor the progress of your child in order to provide additional instruction at home that will enable your child to reach her full potential. For example, if your child is having difficulty with a specific subject, you can provide fun worksheets which will help her practice and learn at her own pace in a non threatening environment and without other kids who advance at a quicker pace in the background. This will help your child master this particular subject and gain confidence in class. This does not mean that the teacher does not need to meet the needs of each child but a parent has more one-on-one time with the child than a teacher will ever have. Ensuring that there are no educational gaps at this stage will only help your child both during kindergarten and in future years.
If on the other hand your child has already achieved many of the expectations for Kindergarten, you can provide opportunities to deepen and extend her learning. You will find many helpful resources on this site and on the internet in general.
8. Encourage children to take responsibility (for example, dress themselves in the morning, take care of their personal belongings, make choices and decisions, etc).
9. Volunteer to chaperone field trips if you can. It is a great opportunity to watch your child interact with classmates and get to know all of his friends.
10. Look for opportunities to meet the parents of your child’s friends. You can help each other tremendously.