We all know that practicing kindergarten skills at home is an essential component of student learning and progress. Not only does this provide additional repetition of important skills, but it can also help students apply what they are learning to their everyday lives. We naturally look to parents and caregivers to provide these helpful at-home learning opportunities for our students. However, some parents might feel overwhelmed at the thought of this responsibility. In this post, I’m going to share how kindergarten parent handouts can encourage skills practice at home.
Communicate Kindergarten Expectations
The expectations of kindergarten have changed so much over the years! First-time kindergarten parents might be picturing their own half-day kindergarten experience when they think of sending their child to school. This is why it’s helpful for parents to see the types of learning activities that their children are expected to complete throughout the year. By sending home concrete examples of these activities, parents will have a better idea of how they can support learning at home.
I love to use kindergarten parent handouts at back-to-school night or during kindergarten screening. These handouts provide a clear picture of kindergarten expectations from the beginning and set the tone for the rest of the school year.
Explain Content Area Terms
Kindergarten is a great time to explain content area terms to parents since this is their first of many years of receiving progress reports, assessment results, and report cards. Many parents might feel like they are reading a foreign language with terms like “phonemic awareness” and “number sense.” Some parents might even feel hesitant to help their children at home with something that sounds so formal and complicated.
Taking the time to explain content area terms will make these concepts more approachable for parents. This, in turn, will help them support their child’s math and reading skill development at home. I like to include these explanations in writing using parent handouts, so that parents can reference them throughout the school year.
It can be tricky to encourage parents to practice kindergarten skills at home without making them feel overwhelmed. One parent handout that I love to send home is a list of games that can help with particular kindergarten skills. Many families already own and play these games with their children! By sharing a list of these games, parents can see that they don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to practice kindergarten skills at home. In fact, they may already have helpful tools on their bookshelves or in a game closet.
Having fun and positive experiences while learning through play is one of the best ways to encourage skills practice at home. When parents see how easy it can be to practice reading and math at home through fun games and activities they're using anyway, it encourages them to keep going!
Share Practical Tips
Our students’ families are busy! That’s why I love to use kindergarten parent handouts to share additional skills practice ideas and tips that parents can fit into their day-to-day lives. For example, a phonics handout can encourage parents to practice identifying letters with their kindergartner on car rides. They can have their child look out the window for a particular letter or simply name any letters they recognize.
By including these simple and concrete skills practice tips on a handout, parents can see that even small efforts are a major benefit to kindergartners!
Provide Log-In Information
One of my favorite ways to encourage kindergarten skills practice at home is to share student log-in information with parents. Many of the web-based learning resources and apps that we use at school include licensing for students to access the same programs from home. By providing parents with the log-in information for these resources, they can help their children practice kindergarten skills at home. Students love the novelty of logging in to their favorite school apps outside of school!
Do you already create an individual log-in cheat sheet for each of your students to use in your classroom? If you do, consider running off an additional copy to send home to parents! (Just be sure to double-check district policy and product licensing.)
Encourage Communication & Involvement
Finally, I love to use kindergarten parent handouts to encourage open communication and involvement throughout the year. Even though it seems simple, sending home these flyers can set a tone of welcoming parents to partner with us in helping their children succeed.
Kindergarten Parent Handouts
Would you like to send home informative and encouraging parent handouts for kindergarten? I have created a resource with multiple parent flyers that will encourage practice at home for a variety of kindergarten skills. This resource contains parent-friendly explanations and suggestions for fine motor skills, number sense, phonemic awareness, phonics, sight words, and more! In addition, you’ll also find suggestions for helping students at home, fun game ideas, and a list of educational apps.
This resource also includes editable templates, so you can create your own kindergarten parent handouts! You can find this resource in the Teaching Exceptional Kinders shop or on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Parent Communication Bundle
Would you like to encourage parent involvement beyond practicing math and reading skills? You’ll definitely want to check out my parent communication bundle! The handouts shown above are included in this resource, along with behavior notes, daily communication tools, calendars, parent-teacher conference prep, and more! You’ll have everything you need to keep parents informed and involved in supporting their children at home.
This Parent Communication Bundle is also editable, so you can customize many of these forms to suit your needs. You can find out more about this resource in the Teaching Exceptional Kinders shop or on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Save these Kindergarten Parent Handouts
If you’re short on time, be sure to save this post to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest! You’ll be able to quickly find these tips and resources whenever you need them.