Parent help for kindergartners

Parent help for kindergarteners

Dear Parents,
This is an exciting time for you and your child as he/she gets ready to enter kindergarten. On this page you will find resources to help support the transition into formal schooling. If you have questions, email Kelly Cramer at [email protected] or Dr. Erin Oleksa-Carter at [email protected]

Contact: Kelly Cramer

Supervisor of Elementary Teaching and Learning
Office for Teaching and Learning
Quakertown Community School District

Contact: Dr. Erin Oleksa-Carter

Supervisor of Teaching and Learning 6-8, and ELD PK-12
Coordinator of Federal Programs
Office for Teaching and Learning
Quakertown Community School District

Resources for Students and Parents

General Reading Websites

One of the best ways to make sure that kids love to read is to give them access to a varied selection of books. It’s also important to identify areas of weakness in their reading skills and find activities to help them improve.

  • Between the Lions: PBS publishes this reading website aimed at kindergartners and first-graders. The site is kid-friendly and offers stories along with song videos to help young readers learn letter sounds.
  •  Funbrain: A variety of kids’ books for a wide range of reading levels are available to read online for free here.
  •  Dogo News: It’s important for kids to develop reading habits they can carry into adulthood, and learning to read news about sports, current events, and scientific developments can help to build lifelong literacy. The stories here are sortable by grade level and provide age-appropriate explanations.
  •  Khan Academy ELA: Khan Academy offers reading and vocabulary courses online for grades 2 through 9.
  •  Free Kids Books: This well-organized website can help parents to find books that are appropriate for their children.
  •  Reading Rockets - Launching Young Readers.
  •  Top Phonics 11 Apps - Phonics instruction helps children learn the relationships between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.

Read-Alongs and Virtual Story Times

Story time is fun, and parents might sometimes think that fun things aren’t educational. But having fun keeps kids engaged, and having fun at story time can also come with important lessons. For example, singing or rhyming during story time helps kids develop their awareness of phonics. Watching adults read stories to them helps kids develop a better understanding of how books work on a physical level. Talking with kids after story time and having them summarize the story and share their thoughts can help them to practice their literacy skills.

  •  Storyline Online: Actors lead the virtual story times for Storyline Online, reading from a variety of books. Here, Kevin Costner and Jillian Estell read Catching the Moon.
  •  StoryPlace: Along with virtual story times, like this one for The Yellow Gorilla, this site also offers sing-alongs and other fun reading-based activities for preschoolers and early elementary-aged students.
  •  Story Time From SpaceAda Lace, Take Me to Your Leader is one of the books read aloud by astronauts on active space missions available at this unique archive of virtual story times.
  •  100+ Free Video Read-Alouds: The Indianapolis Public Library has assembled an extensive archive of filmed story times.
  •  Story Time at NYPL: Librarians from the New York Public Library have filmed fun, engaging virtual story times for children watching from home.
  •  Storyline Online - Streaming video program featuring famous people reading children's books aloud.

Fun Reading Games

Playing games can help young readers reinforce literacy skills like spelling, word recognition, and how letters and sounds work together. Games can also help kids become more confident readers. And many of these skill-building games are free!

  •  Sir Readalot: Kids can practice skills such as drawing conclusions from context clues in this fun, free game.
  •  Letter Recognition Games: Learning to differentiate between uppercase and lowercase letters and understanding what they represent are vital early literacy skills.
  •  Suzy Sloth’s Sentences: Suzy Sloth helps kids with capitalization and punctuation in this game.
  •  Literature Games: Older kids will enjoy these games, which focus on different books.
  •  Starfall - Free site to teach the basics of reading. Features interactive books and phonics games

Writing Your Own Stories

Learning to write their own stories makes children better readers. They learn about using words to communicate feelings and complicated ideas, and they also learn how to put their ideas in sequential order. Learning how to do this for their own stories makes them more aware of how published authors chose words and structure their stories. Writing stories is such an important skill that even the Library of Congress hosts a free series to help kids learn to write.

  •  “Write. Right. Rite.” Series: Popular young adult novelist Jason Reynolds is the ambassador for this program hosted by the Library of Congress that helps students learn how to tell stories in their own voices.
  •  Five-Step Writing Process for Kids: There’s a lot involved in writing other than simply getting words down on paper. The five steps of the writing process are clearly explained here.
  •  Hemingway Editor: The Hemingway Editor assesses writing, checks for plagiarism, and assigns a grade-level score to the user’s work. It can also help writers identify hard-to-read passages.

Additional Resources


  • WorldCat: Teaching kids how to use the library is an important part of improving their literacy skills. WorldCat allows users to look up books and see which libraries around the world have them to loan out.
  • Open Library: Another great place to check out digital copies of kids’ books is Open Library, hosted by the Internet Archive.
  •  Free Rice: Students can expand their vocabulary while playing this fun game and also earn rice that will be donated to people in developing nations.
  •  14 Ways to Encourage Your Grade-Schooler to Read: The adults in a child’s life have a huge influence on how well they develop as readers, and these tips can help families and teachers better support children.
  •  How to Raise a ReaderThe New York Times published this comprehensive guide full of ideas on how to raise children who love to read.
  •  The Importance of Reading to Your Children: One of the best ways to ensure that a child develops good literacy skills is to read to them regularly.
  •  PBS Kids - Educational games and videos from Curious George, Wild Kratts and other PBS KIDSshows
  •  ABCYa - All children's educational computer activities were created or approved by certified school teachers. All educational games are free and are modeled from primary grade lessons and enhanced to provide an interactive way for children to learn.
  •  Bedtime Math - Helps kids love numbers so they can handle the math in real life.
  •  Colorin Colorado - A bilingual site for families and educators.
  •  Colorin Colorado - A bilingual site for families and educators.
  •  Scholastic Parents - Tips on children's books, reading, learning, and activities.
  •  Ready For Kindergarten By: Deborah J. Stewart Kinde - Give your child a running start into kindergarten! Deborah helps parents see how simple, experiential, even play-based activities that are easily woven into a child's and parent's day can help make a difference.
  •  Ready for Kindergarten - What parents,teachers, and childcare providers need to know.
  •  Nursery Rhymes - There's a reason we learn nursery rhymes as young children. They help us develop an ear for our language. Rhyme and rhythm highlight the sounds and syllables in words. And understanding sounds and syllables helps kids learn to read!
  •  What to Expect/Ready For Kindergarten Article - Five teachers tell you what preschoolers really need for next year.
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