I am not sure how we got here. It feels like yesterday I was giving birth in a hospital room, hoping that you would be a healthy baby. Just yesterday your father and I looked into your eyes for the first time, full of tears and overwhelming joy. Just yesterday we walked you through our front doors showing off your new home where we would create a lifetime of memories. So, I ask how? How are you starting school in a few days? It is beyond me.
Parents, we teach our children an abundance of things. We teach them how to eat, how to walk, how to share, how to be respectful, confident, and so much more. There is no manual, no instructions, no guidebook of steps on how to parent. We simply take our past experiences and apply them as best as we know how, learning along the way and – gasp – making mistakes as well. Parents are not perfect, but we certainly try our best to raise our babies into strong, independent children.
Preparing our kids for school is a huge milestone. Whether you’re filled with anxiousness, excitement, or both, it is undoubtedly a milestone that we never forget. While I am almost certain I will transform into a ball of tears on that first day of school, I will make sure my little guy is very well-prepared for his big day.
If you have a little one starting school this September, grab a cup of coffee because we are going to chat about all things to help us, and our little ones, get ready.
The first thing that comes to my mind to help our kids prepare for kindergarten is visiting the school. Does your school offer a parent’s night or open house? These are great as it gives all the new students a chance to scope out the school. If you aren’t sure if this is offered, I highly recommend contacting your school and inquiring. Usually, this takes place before summer begins so if you already missed it, do not worry.
Another effective idea is to visit the school playground this summer. Lots of schools have their playgrounds open to the public after hours or throughout the summer. Try to stop by for a play so your child becomes familiar with the grounds.
Another suggestion on how to prepare for school is to play games and practice your morning routine. Have your kids get dressed at the front door and practice putting on their jackets and shoes all by themselves. I can assure you that their teacher will appreciate them being able to get their jackets and zippers done up. Let them carry their backpacks and pretend like it is the first day of school; they will love it. Practice school lunch by making lunch in their new lunch box. This is an important skill for school as it allows them the opportunity to practice opening their lunch box, unwrapping any packaging, and eating their meal. Moms, make sure you label everything; their lunchbox, backpack, water bottle, shoes and jackets. Talk to your child about everything they will experience on their big day, including the (dreaded) goodbye. I may need practice with this one too. This will help your child understand that mommy and daddy will say goodbye but will be back to pick them up at the end of the day. Share stories of when their older cousins started school or even what it was like when you first started. Remember, giving your child confidence going into their first day is the greatest skill you can provide.
Now that we are prepared for the events of the big day, let’s dive into ways we can plan for what our kids will learn. We all want our kids to practice identifying or writing their names, however, if your child doesn’t do this yet, do not panic. Children will enter kindergarten at so many different levels and the teachers are professionals at making sure your child has the tools they need to succeed. Rest assured, you are doing amazing, mama.
If you are looking for that extra confidence booster, I came across Popular Book Company Canada which publishes qualified workbooks and learning materials for preschool children through high school. These supplementary workbooks are meant to help our children with a variety of subjects. Their Canadian Curriculum workbooks make math, science, and English fun. They even have French workbooks, which will come in handy as my kids will be attending a French immersion school.
“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein
THE COMPLETE CANADIAN CURRICULUM:
The Complete Canadian Curriculum focuses on helping preschoolers up until high school. It is no surprise these are best-selling workbooks as they contain grade-specific lessons and detailed explanations. These workbooks have simple lessons with clear objectives and are developed by experts including teachers, preschool providers, and child psychologists. The Complete Canadian Curriculum helps children understand concepts and master skills by truly comprehending what they are doing. The workbooks are filled with eye-catching and engaging graphics that are so colourful they are sure to keep your child’s attention. Every page is unique and fun for kids, helping them master their skills in an appealing way. With Canadian themes throughout the workbooks, these were so great for my kids. If you want to get a closer look to ensure this curriculum is right for your family, Popular Book Company Canada offers sample worksheets online where you can see the content and examples for free.
THE COMPLETE CANADIAN CURRICULUM – PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN:
With my oldest starting kindergarten this September, we picked up copies of both Popular Book Company Canada’s Preschool and Kindergarten workbooks. We have all heard the phrase, “playing is learning” and what I appreciate most is how interactive these workbooks truly are. They allow you to spend quality time with your child and learn in a fun and rewarding way. As a mom who is slightly nervous to send their child off to school, these workbooks have helped me become more comfortable. I can help my kids build a solid foundation for what they will learn once they start kindergarten. It is never too young to start learning; in fact, we are always learning.
Both the preschool and kindergarten curriculums have positive lessons immersed throughout the workbook. Lessons include everything from learning about the environment to teaching children about food groups and their bodies. The lessons cover kid-friendly subjects and many incorporate activities to make the lessons entertaining. Your child will be sorting, counting, writing, tracing, colouring, cutting, and doing a variety of crafts as they work their way through these books.
Wait, there is more! Popular Books Company Canada has an exclusive Parents Club which gets your family tons of benefits and additional resources. I signed up and was immediately impressed. Free educational videos and learning tips from Canadian teachers were now at my fingertips. Through Parents Club, my family qualifies for special promo codes and exclusive discounts. Yours can too! To sign up simply click HERE and follow the prompts. You will also be eligible to win mind-blowing prizes including iPads, Chromebooks, gift cards, workbooks, and more.
Finally, it is important to remember that playing is learning. A fantastic way for your child to learn, and probably one of the most effective ways, is simply interacting with other kids. Especially since over the last two years playgroups have been cancelled or restricted. Take advantage of the outdoors, set up play dates, or go to parks where other kids are playing. Children learn resilience on the playground and learn best from other kids while having fun. Especially as they enter kindergarten, children need the social skills learned on the playground more than academics at their young age. There is so much to do to get kindergarten ready. While workbooks are an excellent addition, especially ones with crafts and activities built in, we need to remember that talking to our kids, playing with them, and listening to their needs makes the most impact.
Wishing all children a happy first day of school, whether they are entering kindergarten for the first time or seasoned pros. Let’s make sure they are prepared and comfortable for their big day.
Oh, and mamas, I think we all can agree that practicing using the bathroom is of the utmost importance!