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Talk and Prepare for School

By Maureen Penko

When asked in July to write on the topic of 'Getting Ready for School', I thought of the warm days of summer that we still have left to enjoy. So let's begin with August and work into September!

There is time to learn a lot of vocabulary and have many experiences. How about going on a field trip to a strawberry pick, a vegetable garden, a farm, the park or to the lake. All of these experiences involve the following elements which are needed in getting ready for school:

Plan the list together.

Use the vocabulary.

Follow the routine.

Review the rules so all are prepared. The reward is the experience.

At school the teacher will follow the daily schedule on the white board. The vocabulary will be written out. The same routine is followed daily and the reward is the activity itself. Many of your activities will be experienced based. This develops the child in so many aspects from knowledge, confidence building as well as talking and sharing ideas.

My fondest memories of preparing for school were going to summer day camps. I remember packing the healthy snack with my children; reading the information sent home with them as to what to expect the next day; reviewing what they had done, and talking about the new friends they had met. The mind was a sponge and the experiences were kept in scrapbooks. We also practiced writing, cutting, gluing, tracing and painting - experiences in fine motor skill development.

At your Meet the Teacher, evening last spring, the school had a very detailed package given to you. The package contained what you need to know for the first day of school. If you did not receive a package, contact the school division office.

On the first day of school, your child's teacher will have information about the month ahead. There will also be class themes listed for the year. As the themes change, try to provide your child with some additional knowledge in the area. For example, if the first theme is leaves changing colour or apples, you can point out sizes, shapes and colours of leaves. Go to the grocery store and look at the apples. Talk about how all apples are not all green, how they grow, what you can do with them. Make a special apple dish such as apple crisp and encourage your child to watch and help as you peel the apples and talk about the core and seeds inside. Go to the library and look up some stories that include an apple theme. If you prepare your child with the language of a theme, they are more likely to be a confident participant in the class discussions.

School language is different than home language. Children will hear words such as attendance, snack time, work and play time, library, music, indoor and outdoor shoes and assembly.

If your child has 'Show and Tell' as part of their regular schedule at school, be sure your child is prepared before it is their turn. Once they have selected something to take for 'Show and Tell', let them practice with you. Give them suggestions as to what they might say...remember to keep it simple. Pretend to be the audience and ask them questions. Children are often eager to take something to 'Show and Tell', but may be overcome with shyness if they are not prepared.

For those of you who have read my articles before know that I love to include a child's story book into the theme. 'The Day the Crayons Quit', by Drew Daywalt is this month's story!

Neon Red was left by a pool, eight months ago during Duncan's family vacation. Yellow and Orange were melted together after Duncan left them outside in the sun.

Lastly, if you have any concerns about your child's speech or language skills be sure to let the teacher know. Early intervention can be the key to improving many speech or language problems.

Remember that if at any time you feel your child's Speech or Language development is delayed in comparison to their peers, be sure to contact a registered Speech-Language Pathologist. Don't wait.

Feature Articles:

Seven tips on how to take a screen-cation this summer

Summer Time Means Being Outside to Feel Good Inside

Talk and Prepare for School

Raise a reader with tips from Canada's biggest children's literacy program

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