Monday, July 11, 2011

Preparing for Kindergarten

I put a cool little countdown widget on my phone this weekend, and Chickie excitedly asked to see it today.


We've been counting down the months until school starts, but now that it's just over six weeks away, it's fun to count the days. We're very excited!!

I'll freely admit that I get tears in my eyes thinking about it sometimes, and that I'll cry on the first day. But excitement is definitely my most prominent emotion--and Chickie's! She tells me she'll miss me "a little bit. Probably." And I hope that the transition really is that easy!

The school suggests that Chickie know how to write her first name, with the first letter uppercase and the remaining letters lowercase, before she starts. But I know a lot of other kids will have had more extensive teaching in preschool, so part of me wants her to be able to perfectly write each letter (uppercase and lowercase), plus all her numbers, before the first day.

The other part of me knows that I can be really, really competitive, and I certainly don't want to put pressure on my daughter to be the best in the class! I also know that it's hard for me to be organized enough to keep up with a teaching program at home. (This is one of the reasons I don't want to homeschool!) For awhile, I was going to encourage her to learn one lowercase letter a day, and that worked through the letter "b" before I forgot about it.

So I've decided that as long as she can write her name correctly (and she does need to get out of the habit of writing the whole thing uppercase), I'm not going to push it. She'll be so excited to learn once school starts, and until then, I know she learns just by playing, "reading" books, watching educational TV, and talking to Mommy and Daddy.

But today she specifically asked if she could do some "homeschooling" before school starts. (Her friend Coqui, Ann's son, homeschools.) So I found some fantastic free worksheets online to help her with her letters and numbers. I put them in a binder--the kind with a clear pocket in the front, so that she can draw a picture and slip it in the cover of the binder. She's excited!


I've told Chickie she can do as much or as little of this as she wants. I'm trying to strike a balance between letting her explore independently, and gently correcting when she isn't quite getting it. I think as long as we can keep it fun, it'll be a great way for her to prepare. And if she decides she's had enough...well, she'll have a wonderful, trained teacher to take over where we leave off.

In 43 days!


By the way, the website I used is Learning Page. It requires free registration to have access to over 1500 worksheets. I like it because it allowed me to download a file with all the letter worksheets instead of having to download each individually, and I did the same with the number worksheets.

P.S. I just realized I set up that widget wrong. School starts on the 22nd, not 23rd. Chickie will be excited...only 42 days!


Eternal Lizdom said...

Teagan is the same way- incredibly eager to learn. Our city schools just ditched the cursive writing requirement. Teagan is dying to learn cursive. A teacher friend gave me a cursive chart and Teagan sits and practices and practices and works on putting letters together. Friends of hers in K had tuaght her to write "love" in cursive and she hasn't wanted to stop! I'm all for encouraging reading and giving her whatever she needs to pursue it- I'm just not going to push her beyond her natural curiousity at this point.

I'm too chicken for a 1st Day of 1st Grade app. I'm way more anxious for 1st grade than I was for K!

Monica said...

She will be fine! You have exposed her to so much that she will pick things up quickly. Be prepared, it goes by so fast! I can't believe Will starts 2nd grade this year! I cried rivers at his K end of the year program!

SurvivorBlessing said...

That is so cool! I bet church on Sundays helps, too. Coqui comes home with lots of writing stuff and other. And Chickie is a fun name to learn how to write.... by the way, Coqui knows how to write her name already!

Amanda said...

Brayden is at about the same level as Chickie. We've been going over the sheet they gave us for things they would like for him to know and working on those. 42 days for us!

Bobbi said...

Beth... you... competitive? No way. :)

What about tying her shoes? Do they still require kids to know that before Kindergarten? Huh... I should ask my mom. She still teaches!

Call Me Cate said...

Chickie is so inquisitive, I'm sure she'll be just fine. The fact that she's interested now and asking to learn is a great sign, I would think. I love that there are so many free resources for just about everything online - including teaching that little one to write!