What will the noise level expectations be for my child?
The truth is it will depend on what area of the school your child is in. An important and difficult lesson your child will need to learn is that each school area has different expectations for noise level and that even the classroom can have many different expectations for noise level depending on the activity. The playground obviously has a much different noise level expectation than the library.
Ultimately, Kindergarten students are expected to be able to determine the appropriate voice level for the environment and alter theirs accordingly. This becomes a little tricky because everyone has a different voice level that they use. We’ve all sat next to someone at a restaurant that you cannot but help overhear every current detail of their life because they are speaking so loudly. Maybe you are even that person! Yet, your child needs to understand the voice level that they should strive to use in various situations. As with so many other social skills, some of the best ways to learn are through modeling and allowing time for practice.
Now that I know, what do I do?
- Practice using various voice levels. Play a game where you sing a song at various voice levels.
- Use various instruments. Gather various musical instruments, nothing expensive, tambourines, kazoos, even drums made out of old oatmeal containers will work. Then have your child play the instrument as loud as the can, then as softly as they can.
- Inform your child of the voice level appropriate for the environment. Every time you go into a new environment tell your child what voice level you will be using and then model it for them. Pretty soon they’ll be pointing out children who were too loud at the library or even those who were not speaking loudly enough at a basketball game.
What to expect:
We often assume that when we are discussing noise level, we mean that your child shouldn’t be too loud for the situation. However, you don’t want the opposite to occur either. If your child is particulary shy or just doesn’t like speaking in front of a group, you will want to work with them on this as well.