Guest Blogger-Tricia Johnson -

After researching for a speaking engagement at the Michigan Reading Association this year, I wanted to give readers advice on how they can help prepare their children for school. There are simple things that can be done at home that will make your child’s school experience a more positive one. I’ve asked teacher bloggers to be guests on this site, Be The Difference, to share their insights with you over the next 6 weeks! I am so thankful for their expertise.

Hello friends!  My name is Tricia and I am thrilled to guest blog for Maria today! I have seen Maria’s amazing author presentations as well as had the opportunity to get to know her as a teacher friend with our common tie of Michigan State University.

I grew up in New Jersey but I currently live in southeast Michigan and have been teaching elementary school for over 20 years.  I am a mother of 3 energetic little boys and I blog over at Tricia’s Terrific Teaching Trinkets.


Here are my 3 Top Ways to Get Your Children Ready for School and Raise Responsible Kids.

1. Explore the World with your child. As I have gotten older I have realized how important it is to see the world and learn about different cultures and traditions. I have had the opportunity to grow up in New Jersey where day trips into NYC exposed me to a whole new world, taught a block from the beach in Florida and live now in the Midwest.  Each experience has showed me how different we each are and how important it is to learn about others

My advice is to start small. My boys and I love taking mini field trips.  We have been to museums, libraries, chocolate and muffin factory tours and incredible zoos. We are lucky to have 2 amazing hands-on children museums in the area. The boys have had wonderful experiences exploring science experiments, touching wildlife and learning about the world.

Public Libraries can also be amazing resources chock full of incredible learning opportunities.  Puppets, puzzles, computers, story time and the list goes on. My favorite part of the library is the non-fiction section.  There are numerous age appropriate newer book titles which can explain beginning school concepts like coins, shapes or telling time. You can always find me at the library checking out math literature for my 1st Graders.

2. Art time is an incredible opportunity for children to use their imaginations and express themselves. Throughout my 20 years as an educator, I have noticed that there is less time in the classroom day to give students a chance to create.  My sons and I paint, draw, glue and create as often as we can.  I started this tradition when they were old enough to stand.  Art projects give children an opportunity to develop motor skills such as holding a paint brush, drawing a shape, as well as developing dexterity when cutting. Language development can also be strengthened from talking about their creations.

3. My number one way to teach responsibility and get your child ready for school is through play and games.  Playing games have enormous benefits and can help develop important life skills. Home is a safe place where kids can explore and understand the concept of turn taking and sharing as well as problem-solving. Through play, children learn cooperation and get the opportunity to work through emotions.  In my classroom, my students love when I turn my math lessons into a game for Fun Friday.  The students are not only engaged but game time also promotes their social skills and development.

Want to learn from Tricia’s Terrific Teaching Trinket? Let’s Connect.

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