I had the privilege at the end of last month to facilitate a “READY! for Kindergarten” Series through my local school district. It was my first time facilitating this curriculum after observing a couple of classes during the spring and I really enjoyed the opportunity. “READY!” is set up to offer tools and activities to parents of preschoolers that will help them prepare their child to succeed from day one in Kindergarten. There are programs set up for each age group leading up to Kindergarten so that parents can potentially participate in a series of classes at each age and stage of their preschooler. I observed the 4-5 year old program and got to lead the 3-4 year old program.
One of the amazing things about this curriculum is the tools that are given free to every parent/guardian that signs up. These are basically fun toys that have terrific educational value. Nearly every tool can be used to focus on multiple skills and encourage brain development in multiple categories including social/emotional growth. The materials even include a multi-use game board that helps kids practice number, letter and color recognition along with many other activities.
I mentioned in a previous blog one of my favorite activities from this curriculum being encouraging your child to be an author and illustrator. Since that first book, my son has “published” many more books and we now have a great library of books that he wrote and illustrated. Another terrific activity that I used with my son right away was a letter-tracing activity that really encourages print skills. It involved an empty sketch pad and bright colors to create “rainbow letters” that my son and I really enjoyed doing together. I would write a letter in one color and then have him trace that letter in another color. Then He would trace it again and again to make a very colorful art project that also helped him learn how to print his letters. He eventually turned it around on me and had me trace his sketches, getting more and more silly and complicated with his lines each time. This was an especially great activity for the early morning while we were camping as it entertained him and kept him relatively quiet so we didn’t wake up our neighbors.
I highly recommend this curriculum to parents of any preschool child. Even if you feel really confident in your ability to prepare your child for school it’s extremely worth it just for the fun and engaging tools/toys that you receive. Make sure to check out “READY! for Kindergarten” and if you’re in my area…perhaps you’ll even get to sit in a class led by me!
This is fatherhood…