Preparing for Kindergarten {Now}

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Parents of four and five year olds often spend that last year before kindergarten trying to make sure the child knows all he should before school starts. There are many things a child needs to know and many things that will make life easier for a child. The most important bit of knowledge is perhaps vocabulary. Vocabulary is build slowly over time, and greatly grows when the child is read to.



Here are some interesting facts listed in The Read Aloud Handbook about vocabulary (page 13):

  • By age two, the child can understand ~300 words
  • This number triples by age three
  • A four year old understands 2/3-3/4 of the words he will use in future daily life
  • Once a child can talk, he will add on average 10 new words a day

How do you help your child reach his utmost potential in learning vocabulary words? By reading to him. Read a variety of books and read the words as written–avoid the temptation to change a more difficult word into a word you know your child will understand (like saying “laughed” instead of “chuckled”). 


Trelease states, “…the child’s vocabulary…he or she already knows [upon entering school] determine how much of what the teacher says will be understood” (page 13). He points out that until fourth grade, most instructions given are oral. “That’s why school-entry vocabulary tests predict so accurately [children’s success]” (page 13). 


So read to your child each day! If you want to prep for school, this is the best thing you can do. 


And notice that we are only on page 13 in this book I so love? If you haven’t read it, I really hope you do. It will take me years to get through it šŸ™‚


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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book,Ā The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on theĀ AboutĀ page. Follow her onĀ Facebook,Ā Pinterest, andĀ InstagramĀ for more tips and helps.

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  1. Jessie
    August 26, 2011 / 10:57 AM

    As a former kindergarten teacher, can I also add that another important thing to work on with your child is unfastening/fastening pants for restroom. šŸ™‚ or use elastic waist garments. Teachers are limited to how they can help children in this area, and I don't think it's something all parents think about.I really need to get a copy of that book, though!

  2. Tracey
    August 27, 2011 / 6:02 PM

    Iam looking for the website you had on here before that the lady did a letter a week and had all the books to read that week. She used a corkboard to put letter of week on it and pictures of things that started with that letter. I cant seem to find it anymore. Thank You

  3. Plowmanators
    September 14, 2011 / 4:27 AM

    Jessie, great point about the pants! I hadn't thought of that.

  4. Tracey
    September 21, 2011 / 1:06 AM

    yes it is the one. Thank you so much.

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