In the past, when a new school year began, I was grateful that my child was still at home with me and was too young to begin kindergarten. At the same time, I knew that day would come sooner than I’d like. Even though I’m not a homeschooling mom (I don’t have enough patience), I knew that I still needed to do whatever I could to prepare my child for kindergarten.
I’ve already expressed my love for what the library offers. Yet, there are many other resources available to promote early literacy, teach basic academics (ex: ABCs, letters, colors, shapes), help develop social skills, and provide opportunities to play.
This organization offers free classes such as Kinder Prep© A&B and Brain Time© to promote child development and early literacy. We attended both Kinder Prep classes, and I found them to be very informative. Both classes don’t need to be attended consecutively, as they don’t build upon each other and have different content. If you can only find a Kinder Prep© B available in your area, feel free to register for that one first. The classes provided valuable information regarding brain development, in addition to educational resources and activities. I also learned about skills and topics children should know prior to entering kindergarten. The program is highly interactive, and we had fun taking the classes together. We also received books and other educational materials; we’ve been able to put the gifts to good use.
Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest (LSS-SW) provides a variety of classes and activities through their Family Resource Centers. The free classes (registration required) are designed to provide excellent experiences during a child’s first five years, and we’ve really enjoyed taking advantage of their offerings. LSS-SW has a lot of activities to choose from, ranging from cooking, science and technology, play time, art, and even yoga. Through our participation, we’ve accumulated books, recipes and most importantly, we’ve created great memories.
Places You Already Love to Shop
Yes, I’m giving you another reason to go to the dollar store and Target (you’re welcome). From workbooks, flash cards, writing practice books, art supplies, and educational games, you can find whatever you for your toddler or preschooler. I was really surprised about the quality of the resources, and since they’re so inexpensive, you can afford to get everything you need (or want). I recently found a fun phonics game at Target’s bulls-eye playground (aka Dollar Spot) that was super cheap. Anytime I can find something that’s educational and fun, it’s a win in my book.
I was pleased to find that there are many free or cheap resources available to teach basic skills and/or supplement what your child may be learning in preschool or Pre-K. Setting kids up for kindergarten success involves so much more than making sure they look cute; it’s about promoting brain development and equipping them with the academic and social skills needed for that next step. It’s not too early to start, because before you know it, your little one will be going to their first day of kindergarten.