A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
The road to success in school begins early. Good health, loving relationships, parental guidance and praise, and many opportunities to learn, all help children do well later in life. As a parent, you are the most important person in your child's life. Throughout the early learning years, you can do many simple things to help your children grow, develop, and have fun learning.
Here are some things you can do:
- Encourage your child to want to learn and go to school.
- Read aloud to your child daily. This gives your child a chance to learn about language, enjoy the sound of your voice, and be close to you.
- Set high standards for your children and encourage them to try new things.
- Listen to your child. This is the best way to learn what's on his mind, what he knows and doesn't know, and how he thinks and learns.
- Provide nutritious foods, safe places to play, regular medical care, and a regular sleep schedule for your child.
- Teach your child to get along with others, to share, and to take turns.
- Set a good example for your children. They will imitate what you do.
- Teach your child to feel good about herself and that she can succeed.
- Set limits for your child. This is a sign of love which your child appreciates, even if he or she may argue against them.
- Be generous with your praise. Always compliment your children for their efforts.
School Readiness Activities
for young children
- Sing a lullaby to calm your child.
- Let your child bang a spoon on pots, pans, or plastic bowls; shake a large rattle or plastic container filled with beans, buttons, or other noisy items; and blow through empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls.
- Have your children take part in nursery rhymes. They can copy your hand movements, clap, or hum along.
- Encourage your child to sway and dance to music.
- Encourage your child to sing. Pick a simple melody such as "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
Scribble, Cut, and Paste
for children entering school
- Scribbling, cutting, and pasting helps to develop motor skills, which will help children learn to write.
- Scribble: Give your child different kinds of paper and writing materials to scribble with. Provide crayons, markers, or chalk that can be washed off.
- Cut and Paste: Help your child learn how to use blunt nosed scissors. Practice with your child and cut out different shapes from paper or pictures from magazines and newspapers. Paste these and other items, such as scraps of cloth, yarn, string, or cotton balls, to paper. You can make paste with flour and water or by using leftover egg white.
for children of any age
- Let your children know that you are glad to be their parent. Give them personal attention and encouragement. Do fun things together.
- Set a good example. Say "please and thank you." Have your child help you make cookies to welcome a new neighbor.
- Help your child find ways to solve conflicts with siblings and friends. Teach your child that it's mean to gang up on one person.
- Show your children you love them through hugs, kisses, an arm over the shoulder, or a pat on the back.
- Teach your child to include brothers and sisters in neighborhood games.
- Teach your child to look out for brothers, sisters, and other family members.
Resources: Information was based on Helping Your Child Get Ready for School and Yes You Can Help Your Child Succeed in Elementary School book series for parents, Minnetonka Public Schools, Excelsior, MN. For more information, please contact the
National Library of Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20208, telephone 1-800-424-1616. Other materials from the Family Involvement Partnership for Learning--for families, schools, employers, and community groups--can also be obtained by calling 1-800-USA-LEARN
U.S. Department of Education
Richard W. Riley
Office of Educational Research and Improvement
Sharon P. Robinson
National Institute on Student Achievement, Curriculum, and Assessment
National Institute on the Education of At-Risk Students
[Being Responsible for School!]