3 Easy Steps to Make the Most out of Early Education

It’s way easier than you might think to help your child get the most out of their early education. Our tried and true tips:

Step 1: Daily Review

Asking “What did you learn in school today?” is a good start, but it only takes 20 minutes to really sit down with your child and prompt them to reflect on their day. This is a great practice because it helps your kids solidify their learnings from the day, and it helps you understand what’s going on in the classroom.

Start with open-ended questions, which elicit an open dialogue. If the conversation isn’t flowing, switch to close-ended questions, which are basically multiple choice style. From there, you can try following up close ended questions with open-ended ones. It’s the foot in the door!

Below are some examples.

Open Ended Questions: 

  • Tell me about your day! What happened in the morning and afternoon?
  • What was the best part of your day today?
  • What didn’t you like about today?
  • What’s your favorite part of the classroom?
  • What did you learn today?
  • What’s your favorite thing about school?

Close Ended Questions with Open Ended Follow Ups:

  • Do you like school?
    • If yes/no: How come?
  • Do you like your teacher?
    • If yes/no: How come?
  • Did anything funny happen today?
    • If yes/no: tell me what happened.
  • Which classmates did you talk to?
    • Did you like so-and-so? What are they like?

Step 2: Connect Home & School Life

Connecting what kids learn at home and at school can have a reciprocally positive effect. It reinforces their learnings and maintains essential consistency.

Simple connections can have a big impact. Use your findings from Step 1 to suggest toys, books, and conversation with your child. For example, if they were most excited about dinosaurs, read or make-up a bed-time story about dinosaurs to them. If they loved music class, ask them to perform a favorite song.

Step 3: Reward Routines

The early weeks of starting school can be highly stressful for children and parents alike, because this time period presents major shifts in routine. The more your child settles into a positive home routine, the happier they will be in the classroom.

Ease the transition by rewarding routines. Our favorite tried and true tips:

  • Check it off:

    Create a check list on a white board with simple steps (and visuals if you’re so inclined) of 3-5 basic steps your kid needs to do before bed and after waking up. Have them slash off the steps themselves as they do it.

    • For example, a night time routine might be:
      • 1. Bath
      • 2. Brushing Teeth
      • 3. PJS
  • Count down:

    Before changing activities, provide 1 – 3 timing warnings. For example, if your child tends to throw tantrums before getting in the car to go to school, announce 10 minutes ahead of time “We have 10 minutes before going to school!”, at 5 minutes “We have 5 minutes before going to school!”, at 1 minute “we have 1 minute before going to school!”, then do a “count down” for the last 10 seconds before leaving. (You can even make this funny by doing a silly dance or playing their favorite song).

In summary, review your child’s school day, try to build connections to their home activity, and guide them towards a solid morning and bedtime routine! We hope these suggestions help you on your parenting journey!

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