In looking back at my past blogs, I feel I am getting away from my original goal, which was to help promote my book, Molly Goes to Preschool. I have read the reviews from those who have read it and really appreciate the honest feedback. This is my first book, and I have learned from my mistakes. My purpose for writing the book was to help prepare young children for preschool, which I think was accomplished.
I believe when children know what to expect in new situations they will be more accepting and less frightened by new experiences. Children relate to other children by watching them play, hearing about experience in storybooks or watching movies or TV shows about other children.
I have read hundreds of books to young children as a teenager when babysitting, as a mom, and grandmother, a preschool teacher and now as a director of a childcare center. There are so many books available for children with a large variety of subjects, real or fantasy. My plan is to write more books about real situations that young children experience, using Molly as the lead character. I hope to create simple books that young children will enjoy and can relate to and learn from.
Here is a list of my ideas. I would appreciate any suggestions or opinions of what you think. Do you think children would like books about these subjects?
- Molly has a birthday party
- Molly is a big sister
- Molly goes on vacation
- Molly adopts a pet
- Molly’s grandparent dies
- Molly’s new friend (some kind of disability)
I would also like suggestion on what you, as readers, are interested in as far a blogs go. Any comments would be helpful!
image from freedigitalphotos.net
One of my followers asked advise of what kind of school supplies can she get as a gift for her niece, who will be starting kindergarten soon. Well Ashley, and everyone else, I have been researching this question and I found out most schools will either collect money from each family to purchase what supplies the teachers want, have supplies already available for each student, or they will provide a detailed list of what they want each child to have.
There are always the basic supplies every child needs for school, either to bring with them or to have available at home for homework. Yes, even many kindergarten children will have homework! Below are a few standard items that each child may possibly need.
- A backpack large enough to fit a 9 x 12 folder (some prefer not wheeled)
image from freedigitalphotos.net
- Box of crayons
- Box of colored markers (washable)
- Box of colored pencils (already sharpened)
- Bottle of white school glue
- Glue sticks
- #2 pencils (already sharpened)
- A pencil eraser
- A pencil sharpener (handheld type)
- Child size scissors (blunt but not plastic)
- Shoe box type container for storing supplies in
- Multi colored pack of construction paper
- Pocket folders
- Lunch box if they need to bring lunch
- Large box of tissues (children use a lot of these)
Every kindergarten teacher has their own preference to what supplies they want the children in the classroom to have. What ever you need to purchase, be sure the child’s name is on everything they take to school. It will help clear up some of the confusion over glue bottles or a box of crayons.
I have listed a few links to websites that can help parents in their quest for school supplies.
School will be starting soon, and many kindergarten children might feel scared and intimidated by the older children. As I mentioned in previous blogs, help your children be prepared, show them the classroom, read stories about going to school and be positive and upbeat about sending them off to kindergarten. Does this help?
Image from office.microsoft.com
Is my child ready for kindergarten?
This is a question many parents ask. With the high standards for kindergarten, many early childhood teachers are happy about the new age requirements to start kindergarten. Check out www.teachingfirst.net to see the standards for California.
The Kindergarten Readiness act of 2010 for California has changed the entry age into kindergarten to be 5 years old. The 2013-2014 school year the cut off date is October 2nd, which means the child must be 5 before October 2 to be eligible for a regular kindergarten program. Next school year, 2014-2015, the cut off date will be September 2nd. Check out www.cde.ca.gov for a better understanding of the Kindergarten Readiness Act with the FAQ page.
The school districts now offer a Transitional Kindergarten program for the fall birthdays that are not old enough for the regular kindergarten. This year the child must be having their 5th birthday between October 2nd and December 2nd. Next year it will be September 2nd through December 2nd.
Age is one ingredient for school readiness, but being socially, emotionally and physically ready are very important too. A quality preschool program that stresses social learning through play is a proven factor in getting children ready for Kindergarten. Children must learn how to communicate with others, follow directions, share and play well with others. Being able to separate from mom and dad without fears and tears is a good sign of being emotionally ready. Also children also need to be physically ready for kindergarten by being able to take care of their own bathroom needs (buttons and zippers), be able to hold pencils and cut with scissors.Most good preschool programs will help children develop these skills as the children interact and play together. Children learn while they play!
There are many great webpages with tips on getting your child ready for kindergarten on the web. Just Google kindergarten readiness and see what comes up. Next time you are surfing the web check out a few of my favorite blog and websites: 123kindergarten.com, mamasmiles.com and familyeducation.com.
For many parents leaving their child at school for the first time is an emotional roller coaster. They may feel excited and delighted that their child will start school but also feel apprehensive about leaving them. In my experience as a teacher and director for young children, many parents have a much more difficult time leaving their child at school then the child has in going. It is quite often that I have seen moms (and dads too) go out the front door with tears in their eyes.
As a parent, it is natural to feel a sense of loss when you separate from your child, just as the child does. It is best to prepare your child, and yourself, for the separation. Read books about going to school with your child. For example, Molly Goes to Preschool.
Do your research and find a preschool or daycare center you will feel comfortable leaving your child in. I recommend to my new parents to visit the school a few times with your child to help them become familiar with it. Start out with the child staying a shorter time without you for the first few times they go, then work up to the regular time.
I have created a list of what not to do as a parent when leaving your child for the first time at school. These are a few techniques that I recommend to my new families when they first start their child in the center.
- Cry in front of your child – it is better to stay upbeat and positive so your child will be less apprehensive about staying, (you can cry after you leave)
- Sneak out – it is better to say goodbye and let your child know that you are leaving and will be back soon
- Show your nervousness – your child is sensitive to your feelings and may pick up your discomfort and be worried and scared
- Hang around after you say good-bye – even if your child is crying, it only prolongs the separation
- Apologize to your child for leaving them at school – this will send them a message that you are doing something wrong
- Miss days of attendance – except if the child is ill. It is best to establish a routine so the child can get use to going to school consistently
- Let your child manipulate you. Children can learn to manipulate you at a young age and make you feel guilty when they cry. Understand that they are scared, but assure them they are safe and you will return to get them.
This list may help the transition to school go a little more smoothly. Most of all remember that you are the parent and you know what is best for your own child.
Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Friends reading together
Many concepts are learned as children attend preschool. They learn to make decisions and choices as they decide what to do, and who to play with. Social skills are a very important part of growing up, and are a big factor to why children attend preschool. As children begin to communicate with others, it helps them develop language as they interact with the other children and teachers. I have had parents tell me how pleased they are when their children express new words and tell them of a new experience they’ve had at school, including songs they have learned or a special friend they have made. Preschool is a safe place to learn how to make friends as children watch other children interact and play together with educated, loving teachers around to help them master social skills.
Friends in sandbox
When children attend preschool they also learn how to take turns and share toys. Concepts that include communicating and to “use their words” to ask for a turn, instead of grabbing for things, is a vital lesson children must be taught to gain friendships and to get along well with other children. Children learn all types of communication skills throughout their life, but what they learn as a young child, will give them the foundations which are necessary for future experiences as they attend kindergarten, elementary school and beyond.
Sharing and playing together
My book Molly Goes to Preschool presents how some typical 3 and 4-year-old children participate in a preschool program. When I was a preschool teacher, my classroom was set up as illustrated in the book with; cubbies for personal belonging, a large rug area for building with block or other building materials and for circle time, an art area, a dramatic play area with a child size kitchen, and a science area. We also we had a large playground with a sand area, a climbing structure, a few tables for books and other small toys, and an area for bikes and balls.
A part of the story, the teacher dismisses the children from “circle time” as she names a color they are wearing. I used this method myself many times to excuse the children in smaller groups to avoid confusion. This is not only a way to help the children learn colors; it can help them improve skills in; listening, following directions and develop patience. In the story, little Molly is a little scared to be in the new situation of attending preschool. She realizes another child is also scared. Children learn that others may have the same fears and emotions as they do as they go to preschool or other places where other children are. Children have great empathy for each other and want to reach out to help each other. As a parent and teacher, I have seen many children help other children overcome their fears or worries as they invite them to play and participate in activities. I included the feelings of being scared and a demonstration how another child befriends Molly in the book since this is what can really happen in preschool and children can be comforted by the examples of others.
Having fun on the slide
I would love your feedback on what your children have learned from attending preschool! Did their language skills improve? Have they learned to share and make friends? Do you think they would have learned these skills without going to preschool?