Getting your child ready for start of school is a tough task, but getting your young one off to kindergarten can be a Herculean task for the family that hasn’t had the chance to do this before. ASHA certified speech-language pathologist and entrepreneur, Meredith Avern, who is based right in the Atlanta area is here to help. Avern says there is a lot that parents can do leading up to the first day of school and it all involves interacting and spending time with your kids.
Meredith Avern
Fulton County Schools – Manning Oaks Elementary and Peachie Speechie
Alpharetta, GA
www.peachiespecchie.com

Meredith Avern is not only a ASHA certified speech language pathologist, she is the founder and along with her husband, Josh, the operator of Peachie Speechie, a company that provides educational materials, apparel and various accessories for teachers and speech-language pathologists. Avern has worked for the Fulton County School District for six years, providing therapy for students with speech and language disorders in grades K-5. Peachie Speechie was founded in 2012, as an online marketplace and they also exhibit at SLP conventions around the country.

Read To Your Child Daily

When you read to your child, you help them make predictions and answer basic WH questions (Who, What, Where) about the text. After you have finished reading the story, talk about it and help her with re-telling the events in order. Ask what happened first? What happened next? What happened last?

Give Your Child Multi-Step Directions

Practice following two-step directions at home. For example, “Put on your shoes and then put on your hat.” You can also ask your child to explain the steps he went through to complete a project. For example, “What an interesting sand castle! Tell me how you made it.” Make it fun for your child and the entire family.

Play Games With Your Child

Playing board games like Candyland will give you and your child the opportunity to work on turn taking skills. Matching (“Memory”) games help work on the concept of same vs. different. Additionally, pretend play or role-play activities help children with social communication, conversational turn taking, and narration of a story. Switch it up and play different games each day to keep things fresh.

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Describe Your Surroundings

Don’t be afraid to look around. When you are out with your child, you can work on basic concepts by describing the things around you. For example, work on spatial concepts at the park by pointing out the location of items (“The squirrel is under the slide”) or work on quantitative concepts at the grocery store by talking about how many items you have in your shopping cart (“We have more apples than bananas in our cart”).

Teach Your Child To Ask For Help

One should never be afraid to ask for help, especially a new student. Avern says that Kindergarten is going to be a new experience for your child, and at times they may need extra assistance or clarification from their teacher. Work on asking for help when needed. If they find themselves confused about a classroom activity, you want them to feel comfortable asking for the assistance they need. Kids will learn that being a student is about learning and they will always have a question to ask.

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Rick Limpert is a freelance writer/photographer in Atlanta and he loves covering anything sports and tech-related. His work can be found at Examiner.com.