Parent Involvement and Parent Success

Over the past few weeks several parents have stopped me in the hallways and asked me how they could determine whether their child was ready for kindergarten and what they can do to make sure that once they get there in the fall that they are successful. Making this transition from preschool to kindergarten can be difficult for both the child and the parents. I remember when my oldest went off to kindergarten and the line of cars that followed the bus to the school to watch the children get off the bus and enter for the first time; the tears in our eyes as we realized that our children had left the nest and were beginning to take flight.

As emotionally charged as this all seems, the biggest question was: are they going to be successful? The answer to that question is yes!! The love and support that we show our children through our actions and words are what is going to get them through those first few days and then move toward a greater love of learning. That is as long as we stay involved in our children’s school. Both the National PTA (2014) and the Center for Public Education (2011) state that when parents are involved with their children both at home and at school that the children are more likely to be successful.

So what can we do at home to make sure that we are guiding our children toward their full potential? As a parent and an educator, I have found it helpful to know what my child is learning every step of the way. It is through this knowledge that we can plan for experiences that will guide them toward further understanding and hone the skills that their teachers are building. For example, as my children were learning their alphabet and phonetics I would point out letters in their favorite foods, games, etc., and have them tell me about the letter (what it is, what it sounds like, what other words may contain that letter, etc.).

One of the biggest things that you can do for your child right now is to talk to them about the upcoming changes and prepare them for their first day of school. If the school is nearby take a walk or a bike ride to the school and spend time playing on the playground with your child. Through the process of building memories with your child at the school you will ease the transition period. On the first day of school remind your child of all the fun that you have had with them at the school and then when they are finished with the first day ask what kinds of memories that they have built. Making this connection between home and school will build their confidence and make the transitions easier.

Remember that although the first day of school can be scary and stressful that how we present ourselves and our positive attitude about our children’s education will help ease the way into this new period of their lives.


Center for Public Education. (2011, August 30). Back to school: How parent involvement affects student achievement (full report) – See more at: Retrieved July 24, 2014, from Center for Public Education:

National PTA. (n.d.). Report: The Positive Relationship Between Family Involvement and Student Success. Retrieved July 24, 2014, from National PTA:

Calling ALL families…..

Join us for FUN FILLED family events:

Thankful Feast: Please bring a dish to pass as we celebrate and are thankful for our families, our center/staff, and honoring God for all that He does for us!

Thankful Feast will be held on Friday, November 18 at 11:30 am

School Spirit week:

November 28: Pajama Day

November 29: Team Spirit Day

November 30: Crazy Hair Day

December 1: Mixed up Day

December 2: Superhero Day


Parent Teacher conferences will be held the week of November 28th. Please see your child’s teacher for sign up sheet

Sports Camp

We get our adrenaline pumping as we explore the fun-filled world of sports.  From July 14th to July 25th, your child will learn some sports from around the world, practice their favorite sports and participate is some wonderful activities.

Field trips for this camp include:

July 14th – Airtime

July 18th – Red Oaks Waterpark

July 22nd – Joe Dumar’s Fieldhouse

July 24th – Troy Lanes

Register your child today for these fun adventures!

Ten sentence starters….besides “good job”

Parents and teachers often say “good job” as an automatic response to a child’s action.
“You ate all of your peas. Good job!” “You did a good job putting away the toys.”
A “good job” now and then is fine, but it doesn’t help children understand why what they did was good. Preschoolers need to know what they did, why it worked, or why it shows they are capable. Try the following suggestions to give preschoolers specific, detailed information that recognizes their achievements and encourages their learning.

Use sentence starters. Say “I see you,” “I hear you,” or “I notice,” followed by a description. “I noticed you sorted the leaves into two piles. These ones are from an oak tree and those ones are from a maple tree.” Or try openers like “Tell me more about” or “You worked really hard to.”

Notice and give feedback about efforts. “Jocelyn, you spent a long time figuring out where to put the last two pieces of the puzzle. You kept working until you were done!”

Invite children to talk. Children’s learning is enhanced when they talk about their explorations and creations. “That looks really interesting. How did you do that?” “You wrote a lot of words on your paper. Would you tell me what they say?”

Pay attention to details. When talking about a painting, tell the artist what shapes, lines, colors, textures, and forms you see in the work. “Look at all of the green polka dots in the sky! You mixed many shades of green and blue to paint this picture.”

Say “thank you.” When children are helpful, thank them. “Thank you for opening the door for me. While you held the door, I could use both hands to carry our bag of balls into the classroom.”

Identify a goal before responding. Ask yourself: Do I want to acknowledge a positive behavior, an act of kindness, or use of problem-solving skills? To encourage self-regulation you might say, “How kind you are. You helped Jorge zip his coat, even though you wanted to run and play.”

Give nonverbal feedback. A gentle pat on the back, a smile, a wink, or a fist bump tells a child, “I see you are learning.” This is especially appropriate for children who are dual language learners.

Use mirroring. When a child goes up and down the slide on her own for the first time, notice her smile, then smile back with a specific comment. “Look at what you did! Just yesterday you asked me to help and now you can do it on your own.”

Highlight children’s work. Invite children to help find a place to hang a painting. Plan a time when children can share their work with classmates. Include photos that demonstrate children’s efforts and accomplishments in a blog or a family newsletter. “Petra and Janine, please help me choose some photos for our weekly update. I’d like all the families to see how you worked together to make a book about our trip to the nature center.”

Encourage next steps. After a child has one positive experience, suggest something that he or she can do that leads to another accomplishment. “The boat you drew has two masts and lots of portholes. What materials could you use to build it?” (Note the introduction of a new vocabulary word—portholes!) TYC

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