14 Know what to expect Kindergarten is the beginning of a child’s formal education. It’s important for children to have a positive experience, and to get their education off to a good start. In kindergarten, children learn how to: u listen without interrupting u make new friends and play with other children on the playground u follow directions and work in groups Kindergarteners learn: u basic shapes, numbers up to 100, and how to sort and group items u letter sounds, rhyming words, and how to write letters u basic information about plants, animals, and the weather u the days of the weeks and the months of the year As the year progresses and kindergarteners develop new skills, they become more independent and self-confident. Help your kindergartener succeed u Try to keep your child’s after school hours simple, especially at the beginning of the year when you’re establishing a routine. u Talk to your child about what’s happening at school and be interested in what your child is learning. u Read to your child. Look through picture books together and talk about what your child sees. u Stimulate language development by discussing subjects of interest. u To help your child develop social skills and independence, set up play dates with your child’s friends and family members. ,