Happy New Year!! It’s 2019 which means…my baby girl will head off to Kindergarten later this year. I can’t even process this. Harlyn is currently in her second year of preschool, and this school year it’s a 4 day, half day program. She has been absolutely flourishing there, but we know how important it is to help her learn and grow in all the hours she spends at home too.
With all this in mind, I wanted to share some fun (and easy!) things we do at home to get Kindergarten ready. Be sure to check out the bottom of this post for the free winter word search and other resources provided by education.com!
1. We Read.
Have you ever looked at the stats regarding reading and kids? It honestly makes me so sad to know how many kids aren’t read to on a regular basis. Because I’m a reader, and I was read to a lot when I was young, it was never an option for me to not read to my kids. And thankfully, Daddy and the grandparents are all ready and willing to read too, so there’s lots of books around our house! We read silly books, Bible stories, books we get from the Dolly Parton program (if you haven’t checked that out, you really should! It’s awesome!), and more. Plus, it’s a fun and easy way to spend time together in addition to the educational benefits.
2. We Do Flashcards.
Earlier in the school year, we realized that Harlyn could recognize upper case letters, but some of the lower case letters were giving her trouble. So we bought a pack of flashcards. We told her it was a game, and for weeks we would put all the cards face up, take turns picking a letter for each other, and then the other person would have to find both the upper and lower case letter. She got pretty good pretty fast, and finally I had to put those flashcards away because I wanted to play some Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders instead of the now easy task of matching the upper and lower cases.
3. We Write.
My mom and I both love to make greeting cards, and that has already been passed on to Harlyn. So we craft, which is fun. But once the card itself is made, it becomes a way to practice writing. Harlyn made and wrote in all her own Christmas cards this year, writing everyone’s names, “I love you,” and signing her name. She also writes “grocery lists” while Brandon and I make ours, and asks us how to spell different grocery items.
4. We Do Workbooks.
This is the most “school” type thing we do at home, but we bought one of those big Preschool workbooks and several one topic workbooks (like “Numbers” and “Letters”) and sometimes we get those out and get to work. With the bright colors in the books, pictures to color woven in, and different activities, Harlyn doesn’t think of the workbooks as work at all. She actually really likes to complete the pages. Whether it’s tracing letters/numbers, doing a maze, or a connect the dots, Harlyn has fun (and I think she likes that one of us sits with her the whole time to do it!).
5. We Do Word Searches
Stay with me here. My 4 year old can’t read. But in lots of her coloring/activity books, we kept seeing word searches. And I’d always tell her she was too young and we’d do them when she got older. But for whatever reason, one day we tried one. And I figured out that she doesn’t need to be able to read to do a word search. We work on them together. I tell her the word, we look at what letters need to be found in what order, and we start looking. If the word is “love” for example, I tell her we need to look for L-O-V-E but we should look for an L and an O next to each other. And even when I am most often the one finding the word and pointing it out, we’re still reviewing letters, practicing spelling, and learning that letters have to go in a certain order to spell a certain word. I’d have never started doing word searches without Harlyn begging, but we’ve been enjoying the teamwork it takes to get them done (or to find a few words before we move on to something else!).
And speaking of word searches…
Winter is here to stay awhile so while it’s cold outside we can use our spelling skills to search for these winter words. At Education.com, you will find more spelling activities like this!
How do you incorporate education into your home life? For moms with school aged kids, what else can I be doing at home to make sure my kids are getting a good head start? Can’t wait to hear your ideas and advice!