If your child is starting Kindergarten French Immersion in September 2021, there are probably lots of questions and concerns tumbling around in your head right now. It’s understandable. Thinking of your child beginning school can be scary in the best of times, let alone when most of the world is still in some kind of lockdown due to a pandemic. So here are some tips that your child’s future French Immersion teacher would like to pass along to you:
- It’s okay that you and your family don’t speak French. Really, it's all good! French immersion is designed for children who want to learn french from the very basics. As teachers, we assume our kindergarten kids know zero french in September.
- If your child missed the Kinderstart program because of the pandemic, they won’t be behind.
- The main goal of Kinderstart is to help your child meet potential classmates and get to know their school a little better. If you don’t get to do these sessions, take some time over the summer to walk around the school grounds if they are open to the public. The current kindergarten teachers may even be able to send you a picture of their classrooms so that you child can picture themselves there. The other thing that we do a lot of in Kinderstart is singing french songs! Check out the Bonjour song
- and the Quel temps fait-il? song if you’d like to give them a whirl at home!
- If possible, it would be helpful if you could help your child learn to identify (in English or French) and print the letters in their first name. If your child arrives in September and can’t do these things, not to worry, we’ll make sure they learn to do it! It just makes the process go a little quicker if the kids have some knowledge of this before they start. If you’re looking for a tool to learn the alphabet in French, check out this song or this one! There are also some great videos on youtube (like this one) that go through how to correctly form each letter.
- Fine motor skills is another great area to do some practice in before your child starts kindergarten. This doesn’t mean you have to drill your child on printing. Fine motor skills can also be strengthened by practicing cutting things out, tracing fun patterns and making things with play dough! Crayola has some great options that you can download for free.
- We get that it’s a pandemic and that you may not have much (or any) time to invest in helping your child get ready for kindergarten French Immersion. We get it and we’ve got you. Do what you can and we’ll meet your child wherever they are when they come through our doors next fall.
As teachers, we love all of our students but there is a special place in our hearts for the new little ones that join our school family each year. No matter what happens between now and then, know that your child’s teacher will do their best to make September 2021 a positive experience for you and your family!
Mme Michelle is an Instructional Resource Teacher in St. John’s, Newfoundland and is passionate about helping students with diverse needs thrive at school and in the real world. She started French For Life in 2012 with the goal of helping French Immersion students get the support they need to become bilingual, despite academic challenges. Interested in learning more about French For Life virtual or in-person tutoring? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.