My little girl is entering Pre-K next fall and, while summer just started, we’re super excited! Her dramatic personality, tempered with cautious optimism, lends itself to engagement with friends and teachers. She’s smart and articulate — personally, I think she’s even ready for full-on kindergarten — but summer months filled with vacations, a new routine and lots of sunshine can diminish the skills she’s worked hard to gain over the previous preschool year.
Summer is all about having fun — but who said school wasn’t? By committing a bit of time during the months ahead to master Pre-K skills, while playing and simple crafting, your little learner can build the foundation for a successful academic year.
Here are 5 Pre-K skills we’re hoping to master and reinforce this summer —
1. Letter Recognition: While this might be more review, being able to recognize all the letters of the alphabet is important for children entering Pre-K. Throughout the summer, we’ll review the recognition of lower case and upper case letters, as well as the sounds associated with them.
2. Number Recognition/Early Math skills: We’ll also play many math games this summer to ensure that when my little one enters Pre-K, she will recognize numbers 1 through 20 (and beyond, if we can!). We’ll work on recognizing the number, as well as matching the number with an appropriate quantity.
3. Shape/Color Recognition: My kid knows her shapes and colors, but I want her to feel a true mastery over them as she enters Pre-K. This summer, we’ll use common shapes to build 3D models. We’ll memorize the colors and order of the colors of a rainbow, as well as learn what color you can make when you mix other colors together.
4. Fine Motor Skills: My girl is a leftie. So while her teacher last year said that she had inherent leadership, varied mastery of age-appropriate skills and a sincere excitement for learning, we were also told that she needed to work on her fine motor skills. What can I say? I’m right handed. It’s a challenge to teach her by example. During the summer, we’ll craft a lot, improving her handwriting and cutting skills. She loves to express herself, especially through art. I want her to feel capable and empowered when utilizing her fine motor skills. And that takes practice, practice, practice!
5. Early Literacy: I was once concerned, but I’m no longer in a rush to have my 4-year-old reading above what is age appropriate. What’s more important is that she loves literature and that it becomes part of her childhood. There are still steps that we can take to improve early literacy, though! This summer, we started to read longer chapter books to work on reading comprehension. She’s also reading simple sight words and practicing to combine letter sounds to create a word.
Preparing our little ones for academic success is an important part of parenting. I’m excited to watch both my children excel and be challenged in their education in hopes that it will translate into success and happiness as adults. Education is fun. I always loved learning! So, even during the summer, I hope that mastering a few Pre-K skills will be fun for my daughter, too.
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