Parental Help at Home
How can I help my child at home? Many parents ask this during parent-teacher conferences, and it's good to have something general to suggest, if you have no specific items to work on. Young children can be helped in many ways. Here are some general suggestions for starters:
Subscribe to a newspaper and point out interesting information.
Play card games with your children. This helps them recall numbers and the four suits (shape). It's also good for strengthening memory and problem-solving.
Set up a card table with a jigsaw puzzle on it and work on it daily, a little at a time. This is something the entire family can do, and for young children it develops location skills and identification of shapes (which helps with reading).
Go grocery shopping with your children, and let them be involved in finding specific items. (Take labels to match.)
Allow your children to help you put items away and categorize them (all of the soups, the cereals, the cleaning supplies, and so on).
Let your children sort the clean socks from a load of laundry (good categorization skill).
Teach your children the proper way to answer the phone and take messages.
Get a public library card and bring your child to the library regularly. (Libraries often have special events.)
Talk with your child; spend some quiet time together.
Enjoy learning about what your child is doing each day.
Let your child know how you use math in daily life (putting gallons of gas in the car, writing out checks for the monthly bills, counting out money, programming the VCR, keeping track of time, checking the temperature, making out an order and adding up the items, and so on).
Read a good book on parenting skills.
Make sure your child has a warm family (or friends) connection.
Give your child responsibility and follow through to see that the job is done.
Excerpted from Kindergarten Teacher's Survival Guide.
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