If your child will become a kindergartner in the fall, congratulations! Your child is about to embark on a great adventure.
Although this change can be filled with new discoveries, the anticipation of what is to come may be unsettling. The uneasiness that your child might feel is not only understandable, it’s normal. Even if he/she has been involved in a preschool or day care program, kindergarten is the beginning of a more mature phase in his/her educational career.
For some children, kindergarten may seem just a continuation of what they are already experiencing. For them, playing and sharing with other children and the routines that go along with a formal educational setting are nothing new. For others, going to school may be their first experience away from the security of home.
The following are some tips designed to help ease the transition. Use your child’s questions and individual temperament as a gauge when deciding which and how many of the following suggestions to try before the big day. For a particularly anxious child, too many pre-kindergarten activities may only increase concern.
Trips to visit the kindergarten teacher and classroom, library and playground are a great way to help entering kindergartners feel at home before they start school. Point out the cubbies, the nearest bathroom, classrooms of older friends or siblings, and the offices of the school nurse and secretary.
As you walk or drive by the school during the summer, talk with your child about the route from your home. Point out landmarks, familiar houses and businesses.
If your child will ride the bus, remind him about where he will be dropped off and picked up each day. Assure him that you or someone you trust (babysitter, grandparent, adult friend) will be there to meet him when he arrives home each day. If you will be picking your child up fromschool, remind him of this and set a place to meet that is familiar to you both.
When choosing clothes for school, make sure that they are kid-friendly. Jackets should be easy to put on and take off. Zippers should move easily. Pants and shorts should be easy to get out of and back into when using the bathroom. Have your child wear shoes with Velcro closures to school while she is learning to tie her shoes.Start your child on a schedule.
It is easier for children to ease into a new school year bedtime, wake-up time, and breakfast time if they start to adjust their schedule before summer ends.
Books to help prepare your child for kindergarten
Annabelle Swift, Kindergartner by Amy Schwartz
Kindergarten Kids by Ellen Senisi
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
Timothy Goes to Kindergarten by Rosemary Wells
Tom Goes to Kindergarten by Margaret Wild
A Dragon in My Backpack by Elvira Woodruff