When parents, or at Connections Academy® our online Learning Coaches, help kindergarten students learn, it involves much more than reviewing school lessons. One of the most important parts of a kindergartner’s education is making the transition to school fun, while spending time sharpening their basic learning skills.
Whether you’re a parent or a teacher who is new to distance learning, or you’re a Learning Coach in one of our virtual schools, we’ve compiled 11 tips for teaching kindergarten in a school from home environment:
1. Teach proper online school behavior.
Your student has to learn how to follow virtual classroom guidelines and safety rules. They must also practice good manners and treat others with respect.
2. Develop fine-motor and computer learning skills.
Help your student practice writing letters and numbers, assembling puzzles, using scissors, and tying shoes. For fine-tuning technology skills, check out these learning game sites that keep digital learning fun.
3. Spark creativity with online learning activities.
Give your kindergartner time to draw, paint, or review the eight basic colors while they work. Browse our Pinterest board for fun, do-it-yourself online learning activities(opens in a new tab) you can start today from the comfort of your home!
4. Build in socializing in your distance education.
Make an effort to organize study groups or playgroups, and also get your child involved in an outside extracurricular activity. They need to spend time working with other children to learn how to share, take turns, listen, solve problems, and respect the property and feelings of others. Learn more from one of our Connections Academy parents on how they implemented socialization into school from home.
5. Expand your kindergartener’s vocabulary.
Be thoughtful of using proper language to help your child build vocabulary. Expose your kindergarten student to a world of language that’s used in real-life situations. Always introduce an unfamiliar word with a follow-up definition. For example, “Johnny, I’d prefer you to sit on your bottom in the chair. Do you know what I mean by ‘prefer’? That means I would like you to sit instead of kneeling on the chair, please.” Introducing your child to a broad range of language stimulates good conversation and deeper thinking skills.
6. Develop a love for reading and writing.
Developing your kindergartner’s reading comprehension means boosting their interest in reading. Introduce your student to book-friendly environments by taking trips to the local library and building your book collection at home. There are also great online reading resources as well.
7. Make kindergarten math fun.
Do hands-on activities using math manipulatives, which are paper clips, buttons, pennies, or any other small objects with which students can count. These can help students practice counting to 10, do basic addition and subtraction, and learn how to use the words and phrases “more,” “less,” “same as,” “none,” “some,” and “all.” Want some fresh air? Try these outdoor nature math activities to keep math fun.
8. Experiment with science.
Study science through activities and experimentation. For example, your student can make a volcano out of a watermelon. During these types of activities, encourage your student to ask questions, make observations, and compare and contrast objects and materials.
Trying the study tips above can help keep your kindergartener engaged during school. Learning Coaches from our virtual schools share their advice for conducting study sessions, so check out their suggestions below:
9. Work together.
The younger the student is, the more guidance they will need while studying. Walking your student through each step is a good technique early on, but make sure to also take some measures to boost your kindergartner’s independence throughout the year.
“I have [my son] sit on my lap as I read the questions, and I click on the answers he gives. If he does not seem to understand the question as asked, I offer another way to ask the same question or I try to get him to think deeper about his response until he understands what the question is asking.”
10. Take short breaks when schooling from home.
When your student gets bored and restless while studying, just take a short break. One parent said, “We had healthy snacks and active move-around times between classes when the kids were younger.” These techniques also work for study time later in the day.
11. Learn on the move.
“We used a hop ball as a chair for a couple years,” said a parent. An exercise ball would work well too. Letting your student move around instead of sitting still can be effective for students who work better when using touch and movement. Moving to a different room can also stimulate your student’s senses, like this indoor physical fitness trail activity. This parent also mentioned:
“For language arts, we took the text to bed, snuggled, read, and discussed the story before going back to the computer.”
We hope these tips for teaching kindergarten will make this school year fun and rewarding for you. For more ideas and best practices, check out how for over 20 years we’ve been helping parents make distance learning work.