Christmas & The Letter Nn
Christmas is around the corner, and we're using this week to suggest some crafts and activities that fit with the secular side of the holiday. We're also learning about the letter Nn and asking the question: How do I know if my child will be ready for kindergarten in the Fall?
Kindergarten Readiness: Will My Child Be Ready This Fall?
You may be wondering if your four or five-year-old is going to be ready for kindergarten this Fall, or if he/she would benefit from some Pre-K beforehand. Here at Christ the King Lutheran Preschool, we recognize that students develop at different rates. While some children may be academically prepared for kindergarten, they may not be socially or emotionally ready, especially this year. Since many children are missing out on social interactions with peers right now, teachers and school administrators are expecting many kids to experience a delay in their social-emotional development, and possibly academically as well. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though, and the good news is that we're here for you (albeit virtually right now). Eventually we'll be able to offer in-person classes again, and when that day comes, we'll do everything we can to help fill in any gaps.
There is still time to work on these skills before kindergarten begins. Just because your four-year-old may not be able to write his name yet, for example, doesn't mean he won't be ready for kindergarten by next Fall. We'll continue offering tips and suggestions (with more to come on writing soon) and look forward to the day when we are able to reopen.
That being said, now may be a good time to pause and review the full set of skills that teachers look for when determining kindergarten readiness. Preschool and kindergarten registration doesn't happen until February (preschool) and March (kindergarten), but it's probably a good idea to begin thinking ahead.
In a normal school year, kindergarten in Snohomish is all-day, five days a week, which can be a big adjustment for some children. To help this transition go smoothly, Washington State has created WaKIDS (Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills), a program aimed at helping teachers and families learn about their students’ strengths and support development and learning at home. The document on your right, "Gold Objectives and Dimensions (WaKIDS)" lists the social-emotional, physical and academic characteristics many students need to be prepared for kindergarten. You may use this as a guideline to see where your child may need a little extra support or encouragement at home, or you can look forward to your child working on these skills in Pre-K in the future. As always, if you have concerns about your child's development (ie: your four-year-old is not speaking clearly), don't hesitate to contact your pediatrician for advice.
Zoo Phonic Animal Friend: Nigel Night Owl
This week's animal friend is Nigel Night Owl. Personally, I think Zoo Phonics should have picked a narwhal, but they didn't ask me. When practicing your N sounds, you can make Nigel's movement by forming your hands into circles and placing them around your eyes (to represent an owl's big eyes). There is a video below about owls, as well as a Cosmic Kids Yoga story about "Tallulah the Owlet." If you're looking for something more Christmassy, though, I suggest you focus on the nativity, noel, North Pole or nutcrackers.
This season is often filled with everything Santa, elves, stockings, trees, and presents. The craft ideas below have some fun ideas for making ornaments and decorations. There are lots of fun ways you can create a Christmas sensory tub for your child to play in, or use holiday scented (or just colored) play dough to make Christmas "cookies" or other holiday themed items, like reindeer (which is my favorite!). I'm sure there are ways in which you and your child can "play Christmas" by pretending to be Santa, or toy-making elves, or even pretend to be the Amazon delivery guy delivering gifts. If you're looking for some Christmas books, we have a read aloud of "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell" below, along with "A Christmas Wish for Corduroy." Both are cute Christmassy stories. Hopefully this is a year where we can all slow down a bit, avoid some of the usual holiday rush, and take time to remember and celebrate this season. Merry Christmas!