This post is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KinderCare. Thank you for supporting the businesses that we truly believe in.
I’ll never forget receiving my child’s first progress report home from school. Among all the satisfactories and praise was a note that she was struggling academically in letter recognition. Being full-time working parents, this hit us hard. Two of the biggest questions we had were how were we going to help her and when were we going to find the time during our already busy days?
Every child has their own unique way of learning and pace at which they pick up new skills. Being so young, I didn’t want her to feel self-conscious that she wasn’t at the right level for her age. Learning should be fun in preschool, not stressful and frustrating. We talked to her teachers who gave us some great advice and our close teacher friends. Having a support system when you’re feeling like a failure as a parent is so helpful.
Being on the verge of kindergarten, I wanted our child to be equipped with the fundamentals needed for success. Recently, we shared reasons why families should consider preschool for their kids and how KinderCare aligns with this vision. High quality education starts early and leads to long-term success. When they’re equipped with the right tools and resources, they’re able to navigate life and new experiences with confidence. In a recent study, it was found that children enrolled in a KinderCare Education kindergarten program were performing at first grade levels. On top of that, these children were outperforming their peers in math and reading.
A Few Tips for When Your Child is Struggling Academically
1. Open Communication
Asking generic questions like “How was your day?” won’t get you detailed answers. Start asking your children specific questions (you can find some examples here) that lead to more of a response. Opening communication shows your child that they can talk to you about anything including areas of struggle..
2. Initiate a Time Limit
Set a time limit to work on areas of struggle. For us, we would set aside as little as 5-10 minutes each night for practice. Practicing in smaller increments leads to less frustration and more willingness to work at it.
3. Allow Frustrations
When parents see kids getting frustrated it’s a normal reaction to want to help them. But allowing them time to work out their issues on their own is a learning experience.
4. Make it Fun
When at all possible, make it fun! In our case, letter recognition was the struggle. We started reading more and having her point out letters that she recognized. There are also so many fun iPad games that teach ABCs. One thing that our daughter responded well to was a flashcard ring. Her teachers made it for her by printing out ABC notecards and attaching them to a metal ring. She carried it with her almost everywhere, just flipping through and attempting to quiz her younger brother.
Seventy percent of brain development happens within the first 3 years of life. Enrolling your children in an early education program has so many positive benefits like learning how your child absorbs knowledge best. No matter what struggles they may have academically, know that you’re an amazing parent!