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Preparing Your Children for First Grade

Preparing your children for the first-grade experience begins long before the school year starts. From infancy on, parents can help to nurture a love for books by reading to their children – even in the crib. Expose them to wonderful literature. When they’re a little older, get them a library card and let them check out books. Fostering that love for reading is the biggest key to learning. Have lots of books around, starting off with picture books and board books. In other subject areas such as math, let them help you with a recipe – children can learn about basic fractions by measuring a teaspoon of salt or a cup of sugar. Then let them enjoy the finished product! To foster their love for creative writing, parents can have them do a little elementary journal writing. Start with a simple sentence like, “I went to the beach today and we collected shells.” They can work on their spelling with the parent and also draw a picture to go along with the entry. Have them be aware of learning no matter what the activity might be. Also, make sure they’re getting enough physical exercise such as playing with balls or riding bikes, because the large muscles are really starting to develop and grow during this time.

Anna Matheny has taught first grade at Grace Academy of Dallas for 24 years. First grade is her true love; she calls it the “sunshine age.” She is the longest-tenured teacher at Grace Academy and is much revered by children, parents and other teachers.