The first days of school can be difficult, especially for kindergarteners entering a classroom for the very first time. At first they may feel anxious about parting with mom and dad. They might not know what to expect from the school day and they may even have a hard time adjusting to classroom routines. Maybe they’ve never been away from mom and dad and are just learning how to be independent. Surely this transition will not be easy for mom and dad either. Perhaps this is the first time that you’ll be away from your little one for so many hours. It may even be the first time you have left your child in the care of an adult other than a close friend or family member. But don’t worry, the teacher can be your best ally in kindergarten. As a teacher, there are several tips I can give you to help you get your child ready or kindergarten. These tips may help alleviate some of the worries that both of you will surely feel during the first days of school.
How to Get You & Your Child Ready for Kindergarten
Kindergarten is a very important year full of learning and loads of new experiences. Not only for children, but also for families. During this year, your child will develop foundational skills that will serve him/her for the rest of their lives. As a parent, you’ll begin to the value the importance of setting routines and you’ll begin motivating your child to be more independent.
Don’t know where to start? Follow my simple tips below and I assure you that the transition from home to kindergarten will be an easier one for the entire family. Plus, I’ve added a special back-to-school book recommendation along with each one of my tips. This will make it even easier for you to have an action plan in place as you get ready for kindergarten. Your little one will enjoy these books and you’ll get the kindergarten conversations started with ease!
1. Talk about the first day jitters
A good way to start preparing is by talking about your nerves on the first day of school. Although little ones are sometimes excited and can’t wait for school to start to become “big kids,” it’s important for families to talk about this important transition. Talk about how each of you will feel on the first day and what happens on a school day so there are no surprises!
It’s also important to listen to your child and answer any questions they might have. Defuse any separation concerns by ensuring them that Mom and Dad will pick them up promptly at the end of the day. Show excitement about all the new experiences your child will have at school so they will get excited too. Share stories about school and read books about children and funny characters who also go to school.
Book Recommendation: First Day Jitters
Follow routines and practice responsibility
In Kindergarten, children will learn to follow certain routines and will have to be responsible in accomplishing daily activities in the classroom. They will have to dress themselves when bundling up to go out to play, put away their supplies after a lesson, and clean their table after eating lunch. There are several digital tools that can help you practice following routines with your child. For example, you can use morning routine apps for little kids to help them manage their time and support them as they complete daily activities at home. Kids routine apps are a great way to motivate kids and help him develop the responsibility, organization, and independence skills necessary for success in kindergarten. These type of apps are also a great way to easily organize time and fulfill morning routines, so they won’t be late for school.
Book Recommendation: Sorry, Grown Ups, You Can’t Go to School!
Practice academic skills
Practicing academic skills before entering kindergarten will give your child a head start. They’ll be better prepared for the school year and you’ll be fostering a love of learning even before their academic career begins. Even if your child didn’t go to preschool, you can still help him/her prepare. There are many fun apps and games that can help children easily practice and refine basic skills before entering kindergarten. Kid-friendly websites can also help kids learn basic skills they’ll need to succeed in school. I also recently reviewed a few books for parents that you may find helpful and you can check them out here.
Book Recommendation: Chicka Chicka 1,2,3
Go to kindergarten with your child
As I mentioned earlier, the teacher can be your best ally in kindergarten. Take time to understand how the educational system works in your district and how the school supports parents and children. Participate in school activities as much as possible. Attend meetings and talk to your child’s teacher as often as possible. Teachers view you as their ally as well and want to see you involved in your child’s education. Teachers will gladly answer your questions and guide you as you and your child settle into school. Lean on them but also make sure to extend your support. Consider yourself part of the team and together you make Kindergarten a wonderful experience for your child!
Book Recommendation: The Kissing Hand
*This article first appeared on the Common Sense Latino – Spanish Blog