Help your child prepare for this wonderful new milestone using these simple tips!
Tips for helping your child start kindergarten successfully:
1. Initiate frequent discussions about what school will be like.
Casually starting conversations about kindergarten at the dinner table, while you’re in the car together, or even reading books about the first day of school at bedtime, can help your child visualize become more comfortable with the idea of school. Good details to go over with your child include:
- How will they get to school? By bus? Car ride from Mom? Walking with Dad or an older sibling?
- What will they do in school? Learn to read? Create art projects? Play on the playground and make new friends?
- What will they do after school? Come back home? Take a bus to daycare? Stay at school for after-care program?
2. Try to visit the kindergarten classroom before the first day of school.
Many schools will host a kindergarten “open house” and/or have some designated special time for incoming students to visit the kindergarten classroom and meet the teacher. Attending this together will help make school seem more familiar.
Alternatively or additionally, you could host a casual “Popsicles in the Park” type of get together and invite other parents whose children will be starting kindergarten at your child’s school. This will give kids and parents a chance to get acquainted with each other, and might even allow some friendships to form before that first day arrives.
3. Be ready for first-day-of-school jitters.
The first day of school may bring butterflies, hesitation or even tears. Remain calm and take a minute or two to reassure your child and help them get situated. Next, simply smile, give them a quick hug and remind them of when and how you’ll reconnect at the end of the day. Then calmly leave the school.
Remember, your attitudes and emotions about starting kindergarten will set the tone for your child. Make sure to let your child know that kindergarten is the exciting beginning of a wonderful adventure where they will learn amazing things.