Suggestions for Kindergarten

*Please note that documentation for kindergarten students is maintained in the home and is not submitted to SCAIHS.

Suggestions for Kindergarten

The kindergarten year should be a time of joyful discovery, laying a foundation for life-long learning.  Exploring, observing, listening, following, practicing and playing should be common elements of a kindergartener’s experience.  Listening to fiction and non-fiction stories, poems, and library book tapes will lure a child into the world of print.  Identifying shapes, numbers, and colors throughout his/her daily experience will add relevance to future math lessons of sorting, categorizing, counting, and ordering numbers.  Visiting the post office, zoo, doctor, park, and fire station provide rich experiences on which to build later social studies lessons.  Planting a garden, watching the seasons and weather patterns, and caring for a pet are wonderful introductions to the world of science.  Playgrounds, jump ropes, paint brushes, and moving to music can provide great large motor development exercises that aid fluent body movement and prepare for art, PE, and music classes.

 

Textbook lessons can provide structure, consistency, and familiarity with future classroom parameters—but there is also plenty of time for that in the future!  Enjoy the freedom of kindergarten, providing a rich environment and experiences on which a child can build his/her future structured reading, writing, math, social studies, and science lessons.  Integrate structured activities for short amounts of time with the understanding that the “rule of thumb” is for a child’s age multiplied by one minute to equal the typical attention span for that maturity level.  Display lots of artwork on your main display case, i.e. the refrigerator, and save key papers and projects that show the growing maturity and understanding of your child.

 

Finally…

When we instruct children in academic subjects, or in swimming, gymnastics, or ballet, at too early an age, we miseducate them; we put them at risk for short-term stress and long-term personality damage for no useful purpose.  There is no evidence that such early instruction has lasting benefits, and considerable evidence that it can do lasting harm…resist the pressures [of contemporary society] and provide a secure, warm, stimulating environment…if [children are] well cared for, talked to, played with, and provided with a safe environment filled with interesting objects to observe and explore, they will do just fine.  (Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk by David Elkind, p. 3-4, 51)            

 

*Please note that documentation for kindergarten students is maintained in the home and is not submitted to SCAIHS.

 

One specific pointer:  please do help your child to practice a correct pencil grip from the beginning.  It’s so hard to change once a poor habit has developed.  Please see http://drawwrite.com/grip.html for more details.

 

The following is a list of references that offer more specific guidance and tools in preparing for the kindergarten school year:

  • *What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know (one of a series of books for K5- 6th grade) by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
  • *Ruth Beechick’s The Three R’s (includes A Home Start in Reading, A Strong Start in Language, and An Easy Start in Arithmetic). (*available in Home School Bookstore)
  • What Your Child Needs to Know When (K-8) by Robin Scarlata
  • Miseducation:  Preschoolers at Risk by David Elkind
  • http://www.worldbook.com/wb/Students?curriculum — This website lists typical courses of study and suggested activities for preschool through 12th grade, according to World Book Encyclopedia.
  • www.myscschools.com/offices/cso/ — This website lists South Carolina state standards by subject, then by grade.
  • www.donnayoung.org – This website offers organizers and a variety of home school helps for all subjects.

 

Additional Preschool information and resources: