Preparations for your kindergartner's first day - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Preparations for your kindergartner's first day

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Veteran kindergarten teacher Denise Raque already has some back to school butterflies.

Well, it's exciting. This is my 27th year teaching kindergarten and the night before, I still don't sleep.

Raque has some very simple advice for parents who want to give their children a leg up in kindergarten.

"The most important thing they can do for their children is establish a routine for them."

Raque says parents should start now getting children to bed early in the evening and getting them up early in the morning.

She also encourages families to talk about what it's like to go to school, talk specifically about the child's teacher, and read together.

She also says you can make the first day of school less confusing for a child by keeping a routine with transportation: If the child is going to be a bus rider, put him on the bus from day one.

"If the parent wants to see their child go to that school, get in the car, follow the bus to school, videotape the child, drop their child off at school, tell them goodbye," Raque suggests. "Then, go on... and let them know that you'll be waiting for them at the end of the day."

You can help a child get ready for kindergarten by making sure he practices the following skills:
saying his first and last name, phone number, and address
counting to 20 and identifying numbers to 10
following two-step commands
and identifying letters of the alphabet and writing his name correctly.

"One of the things we find is that children can write their name," says Raque. "It's really important that when they write their name that the first letter is upper case and the rest of the letters are lower case."

Finally, Raque says parents should take advantage of extra school activities, so children can meet other children and parents can meet other parents.

She says the way parents talk to their children about school makes a big impact.  Encouraging words and a positive outlook can go a long way toward a successful first day of school.

Raque also recommends showing your children the JCPS bus riding video to ease any anxiety over riding the bus.

To watch that video, just click here.

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