School Days Have Begun
By Maureen Penko
The signs are up on school's billboards indicating the start dates and the date timer books are in the stores for the 2019-2020 year, as well as school learning kits. We know we are full steam ahead for the school year. The weather signals the change of season and the clothing to consider. There are the indoor and outdoor shoes, runners, rain boots, sweaters, light jackets, long pants, and lots of socks. Don't forget to label everything as it amazing how quickly things show up in the lost and found. If you get your child to help with the labels it will help familiarize them with the letters and sequencing them
Regardless of the age, as school begins we start to ask these questions: How is the routine going? Is my child fitting in? Are they making new friends? What is learning protocol this year? How is my child liking the teacher? Do I feel I am developing a relationship with the teachers(s)?
You will have already participated in a meet the teacher evening to hear the school year plan and have received the schedule for events for each month online.
For a child who needs additional learning help, September is the month of discovery. Some schools assess the children using a protocol called Strong Beginnings which gives the teacher some baseline data. Hearing screening tests are done. Make sure you have your child eyes tested yearly.
September/October brings about all the fall vocabulary. The events that occur will be the Terry Fox Run and Thanksgiving. This magazine has many additional activities listed each month that helps with promoting comprehension, and vocabulary stimulation. For the kindergarten child, the emphasis is on how to play with each other, and learning the foundations of literacy, writing and math. Safety is also important. So, do review what signs mean and model what to do when you see the sign with your child. The school will talk about playground safety. Some will still be riding bikes to school, so reinforce bike safety. Bus ridership practice will take place for all children.
In learning to read sounds will be introduced and gradually matched to letters. What sounds did you hear? Turn this into a game and have your family take turns guessing. You can also highlight the beginning sounds in family member's names. Rhyming will be very important, so start with these rhyming books:
The Itsy-Bitsy Spider - Hazel Quantilla
The Puffin Mother Goose Treasury - Raymond Briggs (Select the rhymes you like).
Do take time to go to the library to keep words alive and develop a love of books. Here are some book titles, that promote concepts, new words for your child to see, hear, learn, and are just simply delightful to be enjoyed together.
Yoko finds her way - Rosemary Wells
Yoko Learns to read - Rosemary Wells
The Dreamer- Il Sung Na
That Is Not a Good Idea! - Mo Willems.
If your child's speech is not clear and their sentence structure immature make sure to talk to the teacher about your concern. By the time your child is 5 years -6years old, they should be able to make sentences that are clearly understood by all.
At the end of kindergarten your child should be able to:
- Listen to and understand stories.
- Retell a story or talk about something he/she did.
- Take turns talking and keep a conversation going.
For more information on milestones check this particular website
If you are concerned be proactive and have your child seem by a speech language pathologist as soon as possible. Don't wait or let others tell you they will "outgrow it"
Do enjoy the start of school and stay in touch with the teacher.
Maureen Penko is a Speech Llanguage Pathologist. In addtion to her experience in working in the school and medical systems, she is in private practice. Preschool and School-aged children are seen. For more information call Penko and Associates (204)510-7556 or contact her by e-mail
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