Preparing Your Child for School
Inspire her thirst for knowledge inside — preparing Your Child for School outside — of school. If you want your child to be a stellar student, don’t limit learning to the walls of his classroom.
Fill your child’s world with reading. Take turns reading with your older child, or establish a family reading time when everyone reads her own book. Demonstrate how important reading is to you by filling your home with printed materials: novels, newspapers, even posters and placemats with words on them. Encourage him to express his opinion, talk about his feelings, and make choices. He can pick out a side dish to go with dinner and select his own extracurricular activities.
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Ask for his input on family decisions, and show that you value it. Show enthusiasm for your child’s interests and encourage her to explore subjects that fascinate her. If she’s a horse nut, offer her stories about riding or challenge her to find five facts about horses in the encyclopedia. Provide him with play opportunities that support different kinds of learning styles — from listening and visual learning to sorting and sequencing.
Supplies that encourage open-ended play, such as blocks, will develop your child’s creative expression and problem-solving skills as he builds. Point out the new things you learn with enthusiasm. Discuss the different ways you find new information, whether you’re looking for gardening tips on the Internet or taking a night class in American literature. Ask about what he’s learning in school, not about his grades or test scores. Have him teach you what he learned in school today — putting the lesson into his own words will help him retain what he learned. Help your child organize her school papers and assignments so she feels in control of her work. If her task seems too daunting, she’ll spend more time worrying than learning.
Check in with her regularly to make sure she’s not feeling overloaded. Celebrate achievements, no matter how small. You’ll offer positive reinforcement that will inspire him to keep learning and challenging himself. Focus on strengths, encouraging developing talents. Even if she didn’t ace her math test, she may have written a good poem in English class. In addition to a workbook for math practice, give her a writing journal.
Turn everyday events into learning opportunities. Encourage him to explore the world around him, asking questions and making connections. Get kids learning with these fun, themed activities! Nutritious breakfast and snack recipes—with food activities for kids! Reinforce your child’s time telling skills with this award-winning mobile app!
Get expert advice on reading, homework help, learning activities, and more. Preparing Yourself Your child needs elective surgery and a date has been scheduled. Unlike emergency surgery, an elective procedure isn’t done as an immediate matter of life and death. Having an elective procedure gives you the time to prepare your child for the hospital and the surgery. Good preparation can help kids feel less anxious about the anesthesia and surgery and get through the recovery period faster. But, like parents everywhere, you’re probably uncertain about the best way to prepare your child.
The key is to provide information at your child’s level of understanding, correct any misunderstandings, and get rid of fears and feelings of guilt. Help your child understand why the surgery is needed and to become familiar with the hospital and some of the procedures he or she will undergo. Kids of all ages cope much better if they have an idea of what’s going to happen and why it’s necessary. To do that, prepare yourself first and correct any misconceptions of your own. If a parent is anxious and nervous, a child will often reflect these feelings and behaviors. So educate yourself, feel comfortable with the process, and make sure all your questions are answered.
Hospitals have changed greatly and are more family-friendly and patient-centered. After the surgery, you may return to your child in the recovery room. As your child awakens, he or she will not even realize you left. Ask the doctors, nurses, or staff for the information you need about what will take place so that you can prepare your child and deal with your own fears or concerns.
To parents, one of the most fearful aspects of surgery is anesthesia. Anesthesia is much safer today than in the past, but still carries some risk. You should discuss any concerns you have in advance with the anesthesiologist. When hospitalization is needed overnight or longer, most hospitals avoid separation anxiety by permitting at least one parent to stay with the child day and night. Check with the hospital about its rules regarding parents staying over and when other close family members can visit.
Explain the Problem Now that you’re more at ease, start preparing your child. Begin by explaining the reason for the surgery in simple, calming words. Explain — at your child’s level of understanding — about the medical problem and why surgery is necessary. Don’t use alarming language like “the doctor will cut you,” “open you up,” or “sew you with a needle.
Although they seldom express it, kids may fear that their parents aren’t telling them everything — that their health problem is worse than they’ve been led to believe. To build trust, don’t mislead your child — tell as much of the truth as your child can understand. Handle Fears Many kids fear that an operation will be painful. It can help to explain that a special doctor, called an anesthesiologist, gives medicine to make patients sleep very deeply so they won’t feel anything during the operation and once it’s finished, they’ll wake up. Older kids, in particular, need special assurances that they will wake up. Again, avoid frightening language — don’t say, “You’ll be given gas” or “You’ll be put to sleep. Young kids may confuse “gas” with the fuel that can poison or kill and “put to sleep” with what can happen to sick pets.
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Explain that you’ll be there when your child wakes up — and a favorite toy can come along, too. Tell your child that if anything feels sore right after the operation, a doctor or nurse can give medicine that will make it feel better. School-age kids also fear needles, knives, and damage to their bodies. Give a child this age clear, rational information as well as assurances that the surgery is to fix an existing problem, not create a new one. The fears of teens go well beyond those of younger kids. Besides pain or change of appearance, a teen might be afraid of losing control, missing out on events, being embarrassed or humiliated in public, and sounding childish by expressing fear, anxiety, or pain.
A teen also may be afraid of waking up during the operation — or not waking up afterward. Correct any misconceptions about disfigurement or injury. And explain that anesthesia is very safe today and that patients do not wake up during operations but will certainly wake up afterward. Encourage your teen to read up on the medical condition and share the information with the family. Reading and sharing information is an excellent coping mechanism.
One further fear that affects kids of all ages is being seen naked and having their “private parts” touched. If the operation involves the genital or anal area, your child will cope better if you explain in advance that although it might be embarrassing, doctors and nurses will need to examine these private areas, especially to check if they’re healing after the operation. Explain that doctors, nurses, and parents are the only exceptions to the rules about privacy. Encourage your child’s questions about the health problem and hospital experience, so that other fears and anxieties can be expressed. Take all questions seriously and answer them to the best of your ability. If you don’t know an answer, tell your child that you’ll find it out, and explain that the doctors and nurses are happy to answer questions, too.
Relieve Guilt Children often believe that their medical problem and operation are really punishments for “being bad. They might not say so, but they may feel guilty and believe that they’ve brought events on themselves. Explain that the medical problem is not the result of anything your child may have done or failed to do, and that the operation is not a punishment, but simply the way to “fix” the problem. On the other hand, if the medical problem was caused by an accident that could have been avoided by obeying safety rules, make sure your child understands the reason for the rules and will follow them in the future. Explaining What Will Happen Find books, appropriate to your child’s level of understanding, about what to expect at the hospital.
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Reading together and discussing the surgery will make the hospital seem less threatening. Discuss each idea and encourage your child’s questions. Young kids also will benefit from practicing on a doll or stuffed teddy bear with toy doctor-kit “instruments. Your child can take the toy’s “temperature” and “pulse” and listen to its “heartbeat” and “breathing. Ask your doctor for suggested videos or multimedia tools for parents or kids that can help explain the procedure.
As you discuss the hospital and surgery, remember that in addition to your words, your nonverbal cues convey assurance: your tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, and body language send powerful messages. If you appear fearful, your child is likely to feel fearful regardless of the words you use. Pre-Operative Orientation and Tour Many hospitals offer special pre-operative children’s programs, family orientations, and hospital tours, led by specially trained nurses or licensed child-life specialists. Child-life specialists are a valuable resource for parents and children. Call the hospital to schedule a pre-operative tour, program, or orientation as soon as possible, even from the doctor’s office when the appointment for the surgery is made. It’s best to schedule the appointment for a few days before the surgery. An orientation program can remove the mystery of the surgery for kids and their families by making the hospital familiar and friendly and the experience predictable.
On the Day of Surgery When you arrive on the day of surgery, your young child can play with toys and books you bring from home or sit on your lap and be cuddled during the waiting time. You won’t be allowed to stay in the operating room during the surgery, but afterward, you’ll be escorted to the recovery room to be with your child as he or she awakens. Upon discharge, you’ll be given instructions for further care at home and for a follow-up visit to the surgeon. During recovery, there may be times of discomfort for your child.
So explain that even if this happens, your child will get better. Distracting your child, whether with a new book or a visit from a relative or friend, also can make recovery more pleasant. Just make sure your child gets plenty of time to rest and recuperate. What Happens in the Operating Room?
What’s It Like to Have Surgery? For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. Share this page with your friends! Join the thousands of parents and supporters of Missouri’s public schools to learn what you can do to help! In order to enroll in kindergarten in Missouri, you son or daughter should be five years old before August 1st of the upcoming school year.
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Louis and Kansas City School Districts may accept later birth dates, so be sure to check with your local school district to confirm your district’s birth date cutoff. The No Child Left Behind Act requires that schools nationwide prepare transition plans to help students move from early childhood education into elementary school. What to expect in terms of learning standards, behavioral expectations, and attendance requirements for kindergarteners. Did you know that some public schools offer pre-kindergarten summer school for children?
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If you’d like your child to have a head start on adjusting to the kindergarten environment and learning experience, check with your local district to find out if summer school is an option for your son or daughter. When preparing your child for kindergarten, it’s important to understand Missouri’s School Immunization Requirements. It’s never too early to begin exploring Missouri’s immunization requirements, especially since some of them must be met on or after your son or daughter’s fourth birthday. If your family has religious or medical reasons for not giving your child certain immunizations, the State of Missouri allow exceptions. For details, please contact the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services or your local school district. For a complete list of required documentation for kindergarten enrollment, please contact your local school district. For more helpful information about Missouri Public Schools, sign up for our mailing list.
3550 Amazonas Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109. These booklists for children celebrate a wide range of cultures, languages, and experiences. They are perfect for read-alouds and bedtime stories, as well as for author studies! During the academic year, most schools in the U. If you have received a note advising you that your child’s teacher wants to schedule a meeting with you, don’t panic. This is a standard part of the school’s efforts to build a strong partnership between parents and teachers. Knowing that you have to go to your child’s school may make you feel nervous, intimidated, or frustrated as you consider the language and cultural differences that you face here in the U.
You may wonder what to expect, and what is expected of you. That’s why Colorín Colorado is here to help! This information can be applied to students in elementary, middle, and high schools. Your child’s school may also provide information about parent-teacher conferences in your language. A parent-teacher conference is a meeting between you and your child’s teacher to discuss your child’s progress in school. Parent-teachers conferences happen in elementary, middle, and high schools. This meeting may take place as part of the regularly-scheduled conferences held by the school each year, or your child’s teacher may contact you to schedule a meeting at other times during the school year.
You can also request a conference with your child’s teacher if you have questions or concerns about your child by contacting the teacher to set up a meeting. How will I know when to go to the conference? Usually, your child’s teacher will contact you to schedule a meeting time. If you work during the day and can only go to conferences after working hours, be sure to let your child’s teacher know that so you can schedule a meeting time that is convenient for both of you. What if I don’t speak English? If you do not feel comfortable speaking with your child’s teacher in English, you have the right to request that an interpreter attend the conference, or to bring an interpreter that you trust to the conference. If you request an interpreter from the school, make the request at least 24 hours before the conference.
Your child’s school also may have a bilingual parent liaison who can help you find an interpreter. Why does my child’s teacher want to meet with me? If your child’s teacher schedules a meeting with you, it does not necessarily mean that your child is in trouble. Teachers welcome input from the parents about their children, such as information about what the child likes to do or what they are good at. It is also helpful for teachers to know if a child is experiencing a difficult situation outside of school, such as a divorce, the death of a relative, a medical problem, or anything else that may affect the child’s mood or behavior. Knowing of such changes will help the teacher provide the child with the necessary support in the classroom.
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What information will my child’s teacher give me? Your child’s teacher will probably show you some samples of your child’s work, and may discuss your child’s progress, grades, homework, and behavior. The teacher may also ask you about any concerns that she has about your child, as well as questions about his study habits. These questions are intended to help the teacher provide your child with any additional support needed in the classroom, and are not intended to make you feel uncomfortable or defensive.
Why is it important to go to a parent-teacher conference? Going to the parent-teacher conference provides you and the teacher an opportunity to work together as a team in order to help your child. You each have an important perspective to share — as the parent, you know your child’s personality, habits, strengths, and weaknesses. The teacher, on the other hand, has been trained professionally in the best methods of teaching, meeting individual student’s needs, how to control classroom behavior, and how to help your child succeed in school. The conference is also an opportunity for you to ask questions about your child’s progress, to learn more about the class and what the students are studying, and to find out if you child is having difficulty with anything in particular. In addition, the more you know about your children’s school and classes, the more likely they will be to talk about daily experiences with you.
They will appreciate your concern and involvement, and they will be more likely to approach you when they have problems. Make sure that your child understands that you and the teacher are meeting to help him, so that he doesn’t worry about the conference. Make a list of topics that you want to discuss with the teacher and that you think the teacher should know, such as your concerns about the school, the child’s home life, any major changes in your family, habits, hobbies, part-time jobs, religious holidays, or anything that is worrying your child. Be sure to ask for input from your spouse or other adults that are caring for your child as well. Preparing a list of questions will help you have a productive conversation with your child’s teacher. Prioritize the questions in case you run out of time during the conference.
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What is my child expected to learn this year? What are my child’s strongest and weakest subjects? What are some examples of these strengths and weaknesses? Does my child hand homework in on time? What types of tests and evaluations will my child have to take this year?
How are my child’s test-taking skills? Is my child participating in class discussions and activities? How are my child’s social skills? Does my child seem happy at school? Have you noticed any unusual behaviors?
Get off to the right start: come to the conference on time. You should also plan on ending the conference at the scheduled time so that other parents can start their conference on time. Remember that you and the teacher both the want the same thing: the very best for your child. Respectful communication will be the most effective way to work together with your child’s teacher. Getting angry or upset during the conference will make it very difficult to have a positive conversation. Listen carefully to what the teacher says.