When your child starts kindergarten, their daily routine and how they spend their time will change significantly. They will be exposed to lots of new concepts, and it understandably can take children a little time to get to grips with their new environment and get to know their teacher and classmates. By being aware of what your child will be learning at kindergarten, you can offer them support, and this can help them feel settled and secure. Here's an overview of three academic principles taught at kindergarten.
At kindergarten, your child will be introduced to the basic literacy skills required for them to learn to read. They will learn letter names and sounds and will be taught how to write each letter of the alphabet and how to write their name. As the year progresses, they will learn how to read simple three-letter words and understand the difference between short vowels and long vowels. You can support your child's introduction to reading and writing by reading to them at home and engaging in games in activities that help with letter recognition, such as tracing letters in sand or using matching pair alphabet cards.
Your child will be introduced to basic addition and subtraction in kindergarten, and they will learn how to sort objects in categories and develop an understanding of patterns, sequencing and ordering by size. You can help your child gain confidence in these areas by playing counting games and incorporating basic addition and subtraction into daily life tasks. For example, help your child to count how many apples you have in your fruit bowl, take an apple each and count how many you have left.
Introducing Abstract Concepts
Young children tend to think of their life and the world around them in literal terms, and abstract concepts, such as seasons and time, can be difficult for them to grasp. Kindergarten teachers use a combination of fun learning tools, discussion and repetition to introduce simple abstract concepts and help children begin to make sense of them. You can support your child's learning by reading books about time and seasons, using a day of the week and daily weather chart and talking about the changes that take place for each season, such as leaves falling in autumn and flowers blooming in spring.
During your child's time at kindergarten, they will still spend much of their time engaging in play, which is important for their brain development and the development of their understanding of the world around them, but they will also take their first steps into the world of formal education. This can be a worrying and exciting time for children and parents, but your child's kindergarten teacher understands the significant transition taking place. If you have any queries or concerns, they will be happy to talk things through with you.