As a parent of three kindergartners, here is my semi-expert advice. Your kids will learn when they are ready to learn. Six months may not seem like a big deal at this age but it is. In order to begin kindergarten in our school district, you must be 5 years old as of September 1st. With the girls' birthday in April, they are at the younger end of their class. Admittedly, I freaked out a little bit in October when I discovered that some of their classmates were already reading. I've learned a lot this year, mainly to allow learning to happen as a natural process. At home, we supplement and support what is taught at school but we don't push. And you know what? We now have beginner readers!
I believe that most people are really good at some things, need to work at other things and all the stuff in the middle is average. And that's okay. This applies to children as well as adults. Let's face it, not everyone can be a super genius (or a rock star or a princess ballerina.) For example, learning accounting was very easy for me but I could never, ever pass as an english teacher. During the girls' most recent parent/teacher conferences, Emily's reading teacher told Rich that Emily had placed at the first grade level during a portion of the testing. She also commented that Emily had done something with her writing that she had never seen any of her kindergartener students do before. But Emily needs to work on numbers and math. And that leads me to Anna. Because Emily missed so many days of school last week, her teacher sent home her school papers with Allie. Emily had completed a math worksheet and Anna decided to review it while I was cathing her. She immediately pointed out which ones Emily had answered incorrectly and told me what the answers should be.
So what are we working on at home in addition to sounding out words and making sure our fives look like fives and not twos?
- You don't have to be friends with everyone but you should be nice to everyone.
- Help those who need help.
- Clean up after yourself, especially in the bathroom.
- You get what you get and you don't get upset.
- Recycle, go green!
- Eating fruits and vegetables is important but sometimes it's okay to have ice cream for dinner.
- Be happy with who you are.