Every parent we have ever met wants to have a smart child and be a smart parent. Raising a child is the most important responsibility anyone will ever have and can provide the most pleasure and reward.

SMART PARENT/SMART CHILD is the revolutionary philosophy that all children are incredibly intelligent from the moment they are born. When parents have learned understanding, respect, highly developed communication and relationship skills and development related expertise, it is amazing what a child can accomplish and, in fact, each child will achieve his maximum potential.

Our mission is to help you achieve that goal. The key to a child's education and success is a skilled, knowledgeable, informed and educated parent.

This blog addresses specific issues, to really be the best parent possible the book is a must!

Friday, August 28, 2015

How To Ensure That Everyone Is Ready For Kindergarten

 “Help! I think two of my friends have made a poor choice of kindergarten for their child. How do I prepare myself and my child for this major step in life?”

Ellen has a four year old daughter, Sheryl, who will be entering kindergarten in one year. She realizes it is just her opinion regarding her friends’ choices but wants to be as prepared as possible when she and her husband make the decision on where to enroll Sheryl.

We share our guidelines with Sheryl’s parents and know they will help them make the best choice.

For The Parents

1. In most communities there are a lot of options: public school, charter school, magnet program and private school.
2. Begin with the guideline of a reasonable (for you) geographic parameter.
2. Go online and gather as much information as possible i.e. what is their mission statement, what do they emphasize as a priority, what are their test results.
3. Once you have narrowed down your choices, I always recommend a personal visit. Ideally you will want to visit the facility during a “normal day”. Do not rely on an “open house event”. It is rare that a better school will not accommodate that request. 
4. If your child is already in daycare, or a pre-k, or attends any structured educational classes, ask the teacher for feedback on their performance profile, social skills and relationships. They may see your child very differently than you do.
5.  Network with friends regarding the school their older children are attending. This effort may just provide a fringe benefit or highlight a major concern. Keep in mind that very few children are exactly alike or have the same needs.
6.  List your priorities and make sure you always follow them.

One of Ellen’s friends had the goal of enrolling their child in a magnet program. However, they turned down an opportunity to have their child attend a high performing school because they were convinced by a co-worker that play dates would be a major drawback because most children don’t reside in the same community. So he is attending a neighborhood school with much less opportunity. 

The second friend has a very creative child who has been in a creative daycare. The parents have selected a very structured kindergarten because it offers a second language that they feel is important.
Both of these situations are adding a new and challenging condition to a big decision. It is completely understandable why Ellen may be questioning the wisdom of their choices.

Try to match the school with what you have already confirmed: your child’s strengths with new challenges.

For the Child

The goal at our daycare is to ensure that each child achieve their maximum potential. We help develop confident, independent, assertive, highly communicative leaders. To achieve those goals with your child:

1. Expect them to show more independence. Set high standards of accomplishment and don’t do anything for them that they have shown they can do or you believe they can do.
2.  Expect a high level of communication. Enhance their vocabulary, enunciation and grammatical skills. We have a simple system to achieve this: we state correctly what they have said incorrectly, and have them repeat it.
3. Expect them to think and come to their own conclusions. You do not want followers. Take advantage of situations that occur normally and discuss what and how they might have handled them differently with better results.
4. Don’t praise everything they do and don’t give rewards for small accomplishments. Raise the standards!
5. Don’t let them always win.
6. Create opportunities prior to kindergarten where they are expected to navigate a new experience. The more you can repeat this in a productive way, the better.
7. Practice social interactive language. “Hi, my name is Sheryl, may I play with you” is such an example. They will be navigating a classroom and a large playground and children are often reluctant to speak up and join a new group because they are unsure of what to say. This is usually where the term shy comes from. Rehearse possible scenarios.
8. You want an independent thinker. Teach them to evaluate situations and make choices.
9. Communicate a completely honest picture of what school is like and what will be expected.

We spend the last full year preparing the children in our daycare for kindergarten. In our case, it is supported with an advanced academic program which gives them an extra level of confidence.
We know every parent wants to do the best thing possible for their child and we trust that these guidelines will help! Good luck!  


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