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Starting School Smart

Made Possible by the Knight and Hamilton Foundations

Within these interstitials lie some vital tips to providing the modern preschooler a healthy boost to begin school. It may be a hard transition so easing the process will make the change more enjoyable for everybody. Learning is something that should take place all the time, not just in the classroom. Go out, explore the world and help your young scholar prepare.

Discovering Diversity

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Objective: As our world gets bigger and bigger your child should understand how to accept and understand the differences that exist within all of us. Teach your young one to embrace his (or her) uniqueness and to see the beauty and variety within others.

Supervised Story-telling

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Objective: It has been proven again and again that reading to your child at a young age will improve his or her learning ability. Take this tip one step further and extend reading time into discovery time. Reading about bugs? Venture outside and look under some rocks! The vast world of books will provide one big adventure.

Number Knowledge

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Objective: "Gimme, gimme!!!!" Who hasn't heard that dreaded phrase? Children are innately curious about what constitutes more and what stipulates less. "That's not FAIR!" Your child will be quick to quip when they feel they haven't received his or her fair share. While these situations are trying, they point to a youngster's acknowledgment of different quantities. These numeric inklings can progress with your help. A great place to start with kids that spark an interest in numbers is rote counting. Highlight numbers in the everyday world. See how many pieces of bread are in your breadbox or the number of steps it takes to reach the bathroom. On the count of 1... 2... 3... have fun!

Studying Self-control

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Objective: Self-control is a daunting term for parents of rambunctious toddlers. As preschool swiftly approaches learn to instigate rules, consequences, and limits or the adjustment to a more structured setting will be a lot harder. Show your child that controlling his or her behavior is within his or her grasp and that bad behavior will have bad ramifications. Implementing limits will have an added bonus of keeping your young one safe.

Links to Literacy

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Objective: Any relative, neighbor or friend can help your child on the path towards literacy. Point out words in your everyday environment. Start with a Stop sign, and progress to the supermarket aisle. Learn how to encourage your child to communicate, express themselves and view the world around them in a different way.

Hungry for Healthy Habits

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Objective: You've seen the warnings. Childhood obesity is on the rise and the time is now to teach your child healthy habits. Encourage physical activities and good nutrition. Instilling these routines will ensure a happier healthier kid ready for school and ready to grow!

Developing Creativity

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Objective: Pretending may seem silly to us. What would your boss do if you decided to be a fairy princess for a day? How would your co-workers react if you decided to spice up an inter-office memo with a sprinkle of glitter? Yet for children creative play is an important part of proper development. Help little imaginations to soar by encouraging music, art and drama to enter their lives.

Preparing your child for Pre-school

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Objective: Don't brush off your child's fears for his or her first day of school. Starting Pre-school or Kindergarten is a stressful time for your young one. Help alleviate their fears by letting them talk, sharing stories about when you were young and even practicing for the special day. Show kids how to share, raise hands, ask questions and play nice. They are sure to be a shooting star.

Basic Hygiene Skills

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Objective: Kids often forget why it is important to keep themselves clean. What parent hasn't experienced his or her child sticking a few fingers in his or her mouth after touching something particularly icky? School can be a breeding ground for germs and it is important for your young scholar to learn basic hygiene skills. Whenever possible describe reasons for staying clean. Use simple reminders, be consistent and be sure to repeat. These tips will help your child start school smart!