Our first child recently started kindergarten. And while he is certainly ahead of the game in many academic areas, I still want to make sure that he remains on track with the class curriculum and that we work on any weak points.
Thankfully, the kindergarten teacher has supplied us with several checklists that help us gauge our son's progress. One of these checklists was the report card upon which he is going to be graded. This allows us as parents to see where he is currently at in regards to these listed items, see where he excels compared to the list, and pinpoint any weak points upon which we might need to work.
Getting the Facts Early on
Thankfully, our son's kindergarten teacher has been very communicative throughout the opening days of school. She had provided numerous packets of information to the parents regarding a variety of information.
On the first day of school, she handed out multiple packets of information that parents were expected to read through. In this packet was a sheet that detailed the subjects and areas upon which our son would be graded. We made sure that we not only reviewed this document but held onto it for future reference.
Reviewing Everything with our Son
While the grading system and subjects upon which our son will be graded is important for us to know as parents, it's also important for our son to know as well. Therefore, we took time to sit down and cover each of the nearly 30 items on the report card with him. There were topic areas such as "Language Arts Achievement", "Math Achievement", and "Behavior" listed, and each category had about ten individual areas upon which our son would be graded.
Looking for Issues
As we went through the list, we tested our son on the items not only so he knew what he would be learning but for us to see where he might need some additional help.
For example, in the math section, there were goals such as "Count to 100", "Count by 5s to 100", and "Count by 10s to 100." Our son was fine on counting to 100 and doing the same by 10s, but struggled a little bit on doing so by 5s. He was also not completely proficient in the areas of telling time (non-digitally) to the hour, and reading full kindergarten level books yet.
While we're only two weeks into school at this point, there's no reason why we can't get a jump upon the areas in which our son has not yet excelled. Therefore, each day after school -- since he only goes for half a day -- we have activity time.
After lunch, we work on activities relating not only to the areas in which he needs to strengthen his skills, but things that his class has worked on that day and items he already knows and does well so that he maintains his level of competency in these areas. While I certainly expect the school to teach him and work with him, I also understand that it is our job as parents to continue the process and ensure that he's on the correct path, and at this point, no one should care more than us.
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