A Mom’s Guide for Bilingual Kindergarten Preparation
We’re getting ready for our little boy’s first day of bilingual kindergarten and are excited to partner with Clorox to share tips on helping him start confidently! Last year, Clorox donated $150,000 for a Match Offer on DonorsChoose.org and is continuing their partnership for this BTS season too. Thank you for supporting the brands that support our voices.
His older sister has been here before, but he’s still nervous about this new adventure. Sebastian’s first day of bilingual Kindergarten is quickly approaching! I know in my heart he’s going to flourish, but the stress of starting a new school – and a new language – has taken its toll.
Being the Type A Mom that I am, we started preparing for Back to School a few weeks ago. So, although summer has been filled with fun and family, sending a confident boy to his first day is my ultimate goal.
5 Ways to Prepare for Bilingual Kindergarten
Kindergarten is such a joyous experience! It’s when the love of learning is founded and preparing for this exciting time is something moms love. Entering a bilingual Kindergarten is very much the same, except the introduction of a foreign language and culture creates a unique experience to prepare for.
Here are 5 ways in which I – a busy mom of two – prepare for back to school and bilingual Kindergarten.
Spanish Introduction: There are children at our dual immersion school who are raised by native speakers, but many are being introduced to the language for the first time. Though Sebastian has been around Spanish his entire life in one way or another, he doesn’t truly have any fluency. Because of this, we’ve been hard at work all summer long. Quite honestly, I would ensure my child was entering Kindergarten with this educational foundation regardless if they went to a traditional or dual immersion school.
These are the goals I set out for us:
- Introduction of Spanish Alphabet. Recognize at least 75% of letters.
- Can spell his first and last name in Spanish
- Spanish recognition and simple manipulation of numbers 0-20
Use media tools: At our house, Friday movie nights have gone Spanish! The kids also get daily screen time (after all their other stuff is done) and I do my best to make this immersive. There are so many ways to access language development tools through media. If they can watch or play it in English, most likely they can also watch it in Spanish.
Stock up on supplies: Bilingual Kindergarten needs all the regular school supplies! I get organized for BTS season as early as possible, stocking up on supplies as the sales hit the stores and keeping them in designated boxes according to child/grade in the garage.
Another trick I use is to buy a canister or two of Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes during the summer for when I volunteer to clean the kids’ desks throughout the school year. These wipes are amazing and help kill germs that can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours. The wipes with Mirco-Scrubbers are my favorite, as they offer multi-surface and multi-mess cleaning all in one wipe.
This back to school season, Clorox is making your back to school shopping a bit easier. In addition to the Match Offer on DonorsChoose.org, the leading platform for giving to public schools, families like us can help just by shopping for school supplies. For every $5 worth of qualifying Clorox® and Glad® products purchased*, you save $1 and the Clorox Company donates $1 to classrooms in need through DonorsChoose.org. Go to www.CloroxForSchools.com to get started on some shopping – and make a difference.
*Up to $5, delivered via PayPal credit.
Culturally immersive summer fun: I love that my kids are learning Spanish at school, but in addition to the language is the cultural immersion they receive. Their cultural competency is so much higher than mine at their age and I love to reinforce that curiosity with culturally immersive summer fun. We visit museums, study Native American culture before we go camping, eat at authentic restaurants and do unit studies on famous Latino American figures.
If you’re in Los Angeles, don’t miss the historic area of Olvera Street for the beauty of Latino culture in Southern California.
Keep things fun and upbeat: When it comes to sending my little one to bilingual Kindergarten, we keep things fun and upbeat. No stringent goals or to-do lists this summer! That reminder rings true for every Kindergartener really; this is a big step in our baby’s education! I try to embrace the healthy dose of failure my child will likely face as he learns a new language. It’s amazing what their 5-year-old minds will absorb!
Having done it once before, I can tell you that sending my kids to a dual language school has been the best decision we’ve ever made (check out Alina’s Bilingual Kindergarten classroom here!). Bilingual Kindergarten is such a tender experience and I look forward to watching my boy blossom… in two languages!