How to Help My Kindergarten Child to Focus on His School Work

... Jupiterimages/ Images

Kindergarten is usually the first structured educational setting your child will enter. Even if he attended preschool, the typical day was not as structured, and the academic demands were minimal. Most states have curriculum guidelines for kindergarten that teachers must follow. Kindergarten children are expected to be reading and calculating simple addition by the end of the year. To be successful, your child must learn how to listen and keep his focus on the teacher for the duration of the lesson. You can help your child learn to do this at home, which will help him in the classroom.

1 How to Help My Kindergarten Child Focus On Schoolwork

2 Stress the importance of kindergarten

Stress the importance of kindergarten. Your child is probably already excited and maybe nervous about the prospect of going to school. Before the school year starts, make a big deal about her book sack and supplies. Talk about all the fun she will have making new friends and learning new things. Emphasize that since she is attending "big school" now, she will have important work to do every day. This will motivate her to want to pay attention, focus and do well.

3 Maintain a routine at home

Maintain a routine at home. Your child may be 5 or 6 years old, but it's not too soon to begin learning good study habits. These include spending time every evening helping your child with homework. Some Kindergarten teachers do not assign homework, but you can work with your child on handwriting, number and alphabet skills. This does not have to take a lot of time--10 to 20 minutes is sufficient.

4 Simulate classroom conditions

Simulate classroom conditions. Five-year-olds cannot sustain intense focus on most tasks for longer than 30 minutes, but they need to learn how to sit and work quietly. Putting puzzles together, coloring or looking at books are activities that help children get used to the classroom environment.

5 Give your child

Give your child simple chores he can complete. This allows him to see that he can begin and finish a task in a short time. Get him to sort socks, sweep the porch or spread icing on a cake. Compliment him on their accomplishments. This will help your child to work hard and take pride in what he achieves.

6 Communicate

Communicate with the teacher and work with her to help your child. Ask about the classroom schedule and the behavior management plan so you can reinforce it at home. If you disagree with the teacher's policies, do not talk about the teacher negatively in front of your child. This will create an unnecessary distraction for your child who will be conflicted by the mixed messages she gets from home and school.

Karen Hollowell has been teaching since 1994. She has taught English/literature and social studies in grades 7-12 and taught kindergarten for nine years. She currently teaches fourth grade reading/language and social studies. Hollowell earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi and her Master of Arts in elementary education from Alcorn State University.