What Kindergarten Teachers Wish Parents Knew

Get insider tips on how to help your little one make the most of school — because kindergarten today is different!

Aug 23, 2019



What Kindergarten Teachers Wish Parents Knew

Aug 23, 2019

Kindergarten is an exciting and critical time in your child’s development and growth. You can play an important role in this wonderful journey. Here’s what kindergarten teachers want parents to know:

1. Your job isn’t over when you drop your little one off at school; it has only just begun. Your child’s teacher wants to be your partner. Keep her informed about what goes on at home that might affect your child’s behavior or academic performance. Share how what they do at school affects your child at home and do so in a way that is considerate of her time.

2. This is not your grandfather’s kindergarten. Much of what happens in kindergarten nowadays is driven by high standards and preparation for standardized tests. The expectations of what children need to know when they enter kindergarten are closer to what used to be expected in 1st grade. Find out how to support your child's literacy journey during kindergarten with this reading roadmap, and to further boost your child’s academic skills:

Learn more about what to expect this year with this comprehensive guide to kindergarten

3. Reading to your child once a day is not enough. Try to read together at least three times a day. Books are the gateway to building vocabulary, learning about print, and developing listening and early literacy skills. When you read, talk about the book. Discuss the characters and setting, make predictions, and create new endings. Point out letters and words in the text, and encourage them to recognize rhyming sounds and words and to identify beginning and ending sounds. The BOB Books: Rhyming Words boxed set is one of our favorites for early learners — and in fact, BOB Books are often the first ones kids can read on their own

4. Writing exploration at home is critical. Your child needs to have opportunities to use pencils, crayons, and other writing instruments as they attempt to express themself in written form. (Write and Wipe books are great for encouraging early writing skills, and they can be used over and over!). Kids begin with scribbles and lines, move on to letters and their name, and then to words and sentences.

5. The more self-control your child has, the more successful they will be in school. Children need practice in deciding how and when to express their feelings and needs, and when and if to act on impulses. Help them develop and practice these skills at home before they test them at school, where the consequences are a loss of learning for themself and for others. Books can be an incredible resource for reinforcing social-emotional learning.

6. It's okay to make yourself known. Come in. Look around. Peruse the textbooks and materials. Knowledge is power. When you know about the subjects your child is studying, you will be able to help them better and have a common understanding for discussion. Volunteering is a wonderful way to learn about what goes on at school and to show your child how much you care about what they are doing.

7. Your child needs lots of opportunities for play outside of school. Play is the way in which they learn about themself and the people and world around them. But more often than not, play has been squeezed out of the school day. Playing both alone and in small groups helps facilitate learning and allows your child to practice skills and concepts.

8. Homework is an opportunity for talking, sharing, and listening. Teachers give homework to extend the learning of the classroom. It is a chance for you to find out what your child is studying and how well he is grasping the skills and concepts being taught at school. Talk with your child about their homework. It shows them that you care and value what they do at school. 

9. Television and video games use up valuable playtime. Limit screen time. The hours spent with these electronic devices could otherwise be spent talking, reading, or actively learning through play.

10. First-hand experiences are another teacher for your child. Take them to museums, the zoo, the aquarium, the library, parks, arts performances, and geographic locations such as the mountains, beach, forests, and deserts. And do it often. They'll grasp concepts and skills better if they have experiences with the real thing.

Continue the learning journey with these expert-approved books for beginning readers. Plus, get more expert-approved kindergarten books, tips, and resources at our guide to getting ready for kindergarten, including a handy kindergarten readiness checklist.

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