The DIY Kit for Kindergarten Students and Families (by Guest Blogger Janice Nakamura)

Janice PostNote:  This blog post is partially based on the following article: http://blog.oregonlive.com/themombeat/2013/02/preparing_your_child_for_the_n.html#incart_river

A recent blog post that I found on the Oregon Live website created some interesting thoughts for me this past week.  It is titled, “Preparing your child for the non-academic demands of kindergarten.”  I felt that this was so interesting and intriguing even for someone that doesn’t even have children.  So, what are the things that parents should do to prepare their child for kindergarten?  A large part of that is social interaction.  Children are figuring out how to express themselves as well as use their words rather than actions to deal with conflict or other means of social interaction.  I think personally that this is such an interesting article even if I’m not a parent, because I believe social interaction is so important for anyone’s life and especially when that is learned early, then it’s helpful.

Some examples of what parent’s should do for their child is to evaluate what they have learned so far before kindergarten, such as group behavior and how they did in preschool.  Another one is schedule time to wake up early and to work on creating a schedule for lessening the stress of getting ready for school.  Having your child acclimated to their school is critically important as well.  My mother often thought that it would be helpful to have my brother and I try to go to the public library and at my hometown, they did a summer program for free to read as many books as possible for summer and create an incentive for families who achieve with their children.  Other examples from the blog posting include helping with problem solving, memorizing numbers and letters, or even the small things (tying their shoes).  An important factor that I believe that most parents don’t get a chance to get to participate in to search out a PTA meeting.  Often parents have work and other commitments, but I think that we are not hearing the parent’s input as often as we want and that way we can tailor our needs to fit those of the families.

From our capstone class, we have often talked about how we can better prepare for our education system such as closing the achievement gap and afterschool programs.  As a communication major, I believe social interaction is crucial for anyone to learn about as well as implement in group settings, which is excellent for the classroom at such a young age.  Often, teachers teach students how to say please and thank you or asking permission for things.  I believe that this blog post was great to see because it was such clear cut steps on how parent’s can prepare their children for kindergarten, an important step in their educational career.  I can appreciate this post because I feel that at times we seem to be confused on what is important and what can really help our children be set on a good track for their educational career.

Questions:

So my question is, while we have a ‘guideline’ of what we should do to help our children, is this the right way?  How is this credible?  How can parents be more involved with their schools?  Can we implement social media to our education system?

Thanks for reading,

Janice

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2 thoughts on “The DIY Kit for Kindergarten Students and Families (by Guest Blogger Janice Nakamura)

  1. I have known so many children that went straight into kindergarten without going to any type of pre-school or daycare first, and they seemed to be very overwhelmed with the whole idea of having a group of kids in a classroom all running around. In some extreme cases, some kids become withdrawn and even had to go home early. I really believe that having children go to a preschool before kindergarten is the best way to get them prepared for school-like settings and definitely socialize them. In, my opinion, the more socialization, the better. They also get used to the idea of mother or father leaving, but coming back at the end of the day. 🙂

  2. Janice-
    I have a soon to be 3 year old niece. She seems smart and very talkative when I call home and hear her in the background. My brother, sister in law and mom saw when she was about 2 years old, that when they would go to family gatherings, she would withdraw and cling on to mom or dad and be really shy. She would clam up and not say anything. What their thought was she wasn’t getting enough socialization with other children of her age (my mom and dad take care of her while brother and sister in law are at work-like so many grandparents do in Hawaii-a 3 generation household). So they decided to enroll her in a free program where she would interact with other children. That program has 4 other children and my mom and dad are there to watch her interact. They say that she still withdraws. Once she is alone, she will then start playing, as well as sing, and talk. My mom says that they just recently went to the aqarium for a field trip, and my niece withdrew just the same, and once all the children left, she started running around, laughing and playing. I told my mom, that being shy, is not all necessarily bad. I was the same way when I was young, the difference between my niece and me is that I had my younger brother and sister to play with. I believe socialization is important for young ones to know. However, as for the case with my niece, because she withdraws, I feel she is not socializing with other children, but she does socialize with the family, will that hurt her in the future? My niece already knows her alphabet, her numbers, her address, so she is learning critical things before she enters kindergarten. I just wonder how going to kindergarten in a few years will impact her. At the same time, as she grows older, will she start interacting with others more?
    I don’t think there is necessarily a “right way”. I think as long as the child (regardless of how/who gives them) basic skills, alphabets, numbers, reading with them, playing and interaction, I feel the child will be successful, or have the minimum skills to navigate kindergarten. If the child lacks the basic skills, then the achievement gap will be apparent once they start school, and may close or widen, depending on what kind of support the child has at home that can help them deal with the achievement gap early on.

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