Learning involves a certain amount of mental risk and children who are comfortable and confident have an easier time developing kindergarten readiness. Somewhere along the line they figured out it’s okay to be wrong sometimes. They feel that learning is a safe place.
In addition to making learning safe and okay for kids, instead of good or bad, it’s also important that we encourage them to practice learning. We can build in learning all through out the day by attaching it to what is already happening. When doing dishes, learn about shapes. Getting groceries has colors and sizes to talk about. Use numbers by counting the steps to the car. Make groups when sorting the laundry.When your child is playing, use the learning word, “You put some blocks on top of the other blocks. You are learning to build with blocks. Wow, did you push that car under the chair? You are learning about how things go.” Play is a fabulous activity to practice learning without worrying about the outcome. The risks are minimized in play.
I love the words of inspiration this munchkin has after learning to ride a bike. “If you don’t…just keep practicing. If you keep practicing, you’ll get the hang of it. Then you can get better and better.” Riding a bike involves various kinds of risks. There are the physical ones associated with falling and the mental/emotional ones of feeling discouraged and just not smart enough to figure it out. Despite all the risks, learning is worth it and then your child can also say, “I feel happy of myself.” What suggestions might you have to help your child practice learning and to encourage kindergarten readiness?