Tuesday, July 5, 2011
What my Pre-ker Needs to Know
This is a popular question right now as parents prepare their pre-ker for Kindergarten. What used to be the place for learning ABC's and 123's has now become the breeding ground for stressful drilling and teaching young one's to read whether they are ready or not. But, I agree that there are some things we need to teach our children before we start school with them and these apply whether you homeschool or otherwise. So what does your child really need to know before starting school?
1. They need to know that mommy and daddy have a close relationship with Christ. For most children starting school is a step closer or maybe even into the world if you do traditional school, and your children need to see you as an example of how to follow Christ. They need to see that above everything, including academics, comes the Lord Almighty; above getting an A, above making new friends, above pleasing the teacher and above learning to stand in line.
2. They need to know that home is a safe place to be. Home should be a soft place to fall. Your children should know that at home they are safe and well taken care of. It should be a peaceful (and I don't mean noiseless!) place to be.
3. They need to know they can talk to you. Little problems are big problems for young ones and they need to know that you are there to listen no matter what the problem is. They need to know that when they chose to do the right thing and come repentantly to you, that you will be fair, and they need to know that they can tell the truth without fear of an unjust response.
4. They need to know that you will consistently discipline. Your child needs to know that actions equal consequences and that you will consistently and fairly discipline them. A fairly disciplined child is usually a joy to be around. That will make things easier for everyone involved in their education.
5. They need to know what compassion, grace and mercy are. How can a child understand these concepts without being shown them? Take every chance you can to show your child compassion, grace and mercy and they will be more likely to show them to others. It will also go a long way in emulating the grace and mercy of our Savior.
6. And maybe, if you find time and your child is ready, they need to start working on their ABC's and 123's. Believe it or not, your child will not be more likely to drop out of school, or less likely to go to college, if they are not reading fluently by the ripe ol' age of 5. Training in them and working on their heart condition should be front and foremost in a parent's mind. Even after they accept Christ as Savior, their constant training should lead more towards how to honor Christ than to academics.
For fun, here are some great ways to work on the academic parts of preping for K-5:
Play the ABC sign game when you are in the car
Cutting with safety scissors
Pretend play of any sort
Cooking with supervision