Getting Ready for Kindergarten

My oldest is starting full day kindergarten this year and I’ve been waiting for this moment since he was born; I know that sounds crazy. Most parents usually look forward to other milestones, and dread when their kids start “real” school, but as a public school employee and advocate, I am so excited for his schooling journey to begin.

I’ve always been on the “teacher side” of school so I’ve able to see firsthand, just how amazing our public schools are, including kindergarten. Prior to becoming a reading specialist, and then an instructional coach, I taught kindergarten for five years. I like to think I have a few tricks up my sleeve for preparing my son for kindergarten, but in all honesty, a lot has changed since I was in front of a bunch of 5 year olds!

We’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to send him to an amazing daycare, starting when he was just eight months old. Since he’s been there we have seen him grow physically, emotionally, and academically. He’s learned to sit appropriately on the carpet with a group of peers, all his letters/sounds, appreciation for science and math, and most importantly, manners and respect.

Just because I know that he is more than ready for kindergarten and new challenges, doesn’t mean I’m not doing my part at home to prepare him. I think he’s quickly realized what it means to have an educator for a parent…..

Taking frequent walks over to his new school to talk about which window might be his classroom has gotten him so excited!
Incorporating counting and number activities whenever I can. Around Easter, I had him glue on the matching number of stems to each carrot.
As much I don’t want to admit it, there’s a good chance we’ll be remote learning. We’ve been having Zoom calls with his friends to help him get used to it.
Alphabet scavenger hunts around our house are our favorite! Sometimes we look for upper case, lower case, or even numbers!
Using different colored post-its to match uppercase with the lower case letters.
As much as he would beg for me to do the writing for him, I would say no. He eventually has stopped asking and now writes his friends and family’s names all by himself!
Reading all the kindergarten books!!

Since we’ve been quarantined at home, I’ve put my “kindergarten teacher hat” back on to do the best I can to help prepare him for this exciting change! These have been a few of my favorites things to help us get kindergarten ready!

Kindergarten Workbook

I bought this book for us to work through while we’ve been home to prevent any regression and to keep his brain active! It includes letters, numbers, addition and subtraction, and short stories. It’s made by Highlights so it includes a lot of the fun hidden pictures and spot the differences, too!

Maze Book

Not only does he LOVE doing mazes, making him use a pencil while he completes them reinforces proper pencil grip, too!

Paper Mate Triangle Pencils

These are amazing and only $3! They are triangle shaped so they aren’t constantly rolling on the floor like everything else, AND they are easy for young children to grasp correctly.

Kindergarten, Here I Come!

This book is on repeat in our house. We laugh through all the funny poems and talk about what we think his kindergarten class is going to be like. Such a sweet book!

Mr. Sketch Markers

Is there anything more exciting to a 5 year old than smelly markers?!

Seriously though….if you came here to get ideas of what you can do to help your little one prepare, the best thing you can do: talk it up and get them excited! Kindergarten teachers are the most amazing people on our planet and will do everything they can to love, and teach, your children!

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