Kindergarten is around the corner for many families. This can a big transition for your child even if they went to preschool.
Kindergarten students tend to spend more of their day in structured activities than they did in preschool. While kindergarten certainly has play and fun, this year is a step towards more formal education with possibly larger class sizes and more structure.
You can help set up your child for success in kindergarten in some simple ways before school starts:
- See the school. Visit the school and the new teacher. This may seem obvious, but take the opportunity to go to orientation and introduce your child and yourself to the new school.
- Write a bio. Write a bio for your child to give it to the teacher. Some teachers request this, but even if they don’t you can provide a brief introduction about your child, their likes, strengths, and challenges. Definitely include struggles that the teacher should know about, but try not to focus on the negative.
- Set a schedule. Start getting your child on a “school schedule” early. If you can start at least a week before, go to bed early and get up when you will need to get ready for school. Eat a good breakfast and start a “school routine.”
- Plan healthy lunches. If you will pack lunches, shop a few days early so you have some creative, healthy options. If your child will eat the school lunches, be sure to know and understand what the options are. Good nutrition helps your child have a great day!
- Practice and play school. Make school a fun game! Give your child an “assignment” and some instructions to practice. Read a story. Do some other “school” activities. This may help your child follow directions and sit still, both very important skill to develop in kindergarten.
- Take a couple of pictures the first morning your child leaves for school. This year may go faster than you want, so snap some pictures to capture the moment before you send them off to kindergarten.
Kindergarten is a major turning point for kids. A smooth transition will help your child deal with transitions, develop positive self-esteem, learn independence, and tackle obstacles. You can do so much to help your child succeed in these moments.
You get to send your child off to kindergarten with the confidence, excitement, and courage to face new adventures. And they will.
And then, they will come home and tell you about it.