At the start of each school year parents of toddlers think that in only 1 or 2 years, they will have a little one heading off to school and are concerned about the question of readiness. One of the factors that increases a child’s success at school, also makes a difference in kindergarten readiness. That factor is Parent Involvement. Parent Involvement does not mean that parents need to turn their home into a preschool or that they need to home school from day one. Instead, it means that parents are interested in learning and value education.
What are some things that parents can do at home? Reading and sharing books and stories with your child makes a tremendous impact. Traditionally, parents read to kids at bedtime, but this isn’t always the best time for some families. It might be easier to read before breakfast or before the family goes different ways for the day. Share a book or two while waiting for supper to cook.
Stories are not only found in books, they are also lurking in imaginations. If you and your child take the bus, make up a story about a bus that got lost or ran away or had a miserable cold. When waiting in line at the grocery story, the box of cereal could maybe visit with the milk.
When parents and caregivers read to children, the children become more familiar with letters just because they’ve seen them over and over. Books stimulate imaginations and curiosity. They also enrich children’s experiences. How many kids have seen giraffes? But they know about them. There are also benefits for increasing attention span and listening skills. Children hear language used in a variety of ways and this helps them express what they want to say.
These are just a few of the ways that parents and caregivers can be involved and support children’s readiness for kindergarten and beyond. Do you share books and stories with your child?