Parenting In Focus: Success in school begins before school starts

  • Wednesday, August 25, 2021 9:42am
  • Life

The success your child will have when he begins school depends significantly on you. No matter whether your young child is 2 years old or 4, you need to spend the time and energy to get him ready for school.

Learning starts now if you want him to be successful in school.

As a mother or father, you can help your child be ready for school by making sure to provide pencils or crayon so he can color. Talk about the colors and even their shapes. Learning these things at home help him really be ready for school.

If you are the mom or dad who reads to your child daily for about 20 minutes, you helping him be ready.

If you are the one who reminds him to count the stairs or the raisins or the cards, you are getting him ready for math. Think about how much more he will know when he begins kindergarten.

If you talk a lot with him, he learns and becomes smarter. This is not true for the child whose parents assume he is too little to learn new words or who ignore him.

If you become excited with the new things he learns, it will help him be excited about learning. Let him see you are very pleased.

If you teach him about being patient, waiting his turn, that there are consequences for his behavior, to listen, and how to be a friend, he will be more ready for school. Think about the child whose parents do not teach these things and how their child will do in kindergarten.

If you want your child to succeed in school, begin today. He is learning now. He will learn even more if make a strong effort to include many kinds of learning into each day.

As he grows, play with your child daily and encourage his exploration of the world. Be excited about how he develops his creativity and less on the finished products. Provide many ways to teach and for him to learn using all his senses (sight, hearing, touch, small, and taste). You are important as to how much he gets from these first years of his life.

You can talk to your child about anything. Say their name as you make contact with them and chat together. The attention you give him makes him feel like he has just had a big hug from you. It keeps them feeling focused and calm.

These kinds of chats with your child need to begin in the earliest days you have together. Long before your child is ready to speak he is learning to pay attention to what you are saying.

Cynthia Martin is the founder of the First Teacher program and former executive director of Parenting Matters Foundation, which publishes newsletters for parents, caregivers and grandparents. For more information, email to or call 360-681-2250.

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