How to Prepare Your Kindergartener For School
Where has the time gone? It feels like just yesterday you were changing diapers and now it’s time to send them off to school…it’s okay I’ll cry with you! This time can be overwhelming for a child so let’s prepare your kindergartener for school with these few tips:
- Create a Routine – When school is about 3-4 weeks away start preparing your kindergartener by creating a routine. Start bedtime routines earlier and get your child in bed as if it were the school year. In addition, waken your child at the time your child will need to get up for school. You may even want to get your child eating lunch at the time s/he will be eating during the school year. There are some kids who eat an hour earlier or later depending on their after school programs.
- Readiness – Prepare your kindergartener for meeting new children, their teacher and what to expect when riding the bus as well as what is expected of them while at school. Consider reading books that talk about starting school. You can start with books like Kindergarten, Here I Come!, Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis and a number of other books on Amazon.
- Review – Over the coming weeks be sure to review what your kindergartener knows. For instance, recognizing letters, numbers, shapes and colors, writing their name, knowing their address, how to use scissors properly and review how to listen to others.
- Riding the Bus – While some children have watched their brothers and sisters get on the school bus, some are hesitant about leaving home on the big yellow rectangle! Riding the bus can be a scary time for your children. Go over the rules of the bus…use inside voice when talking, sitting at all times, keeping hands to yourself, etc. If there are no assigned seats have your child sit up front with the bus driver!
- Visit the School – Once the school is open for visitors, take a few trips up to school. Let your child explore the hallways, familiarize them with the bathroom and other areas of the school they will be expected to visit. You may even get them excited and play on the playground!
- Separation Issues – If your child has been by your side considering sending them off with other trustworthy adults prior to the start of school. Whether it is playing at the neighbors house, Grandma taking him to the movies or sending to a play date without you, it needs to be done…for you and your child!
- Create a Class Play date – In the instance your school offers a list of students in your child’s class prior to the start of school, consider calling the parents and inviting them to a play date. You can meet at a local park or even the school playground and let them children meet one another. This allows friendships to be made and a little easier than meeting strangers on the first day of school!
- Class Countdown – To get your child excited about starting school create a Class Countdown. This will show how many days are left before their big day arrives!
Allow your child to express his/her feelings. Let your big kid know that you are there to help them with whatever feelings they are facing and that every child heading back to school is a bit nervous, so those butterflies are completely normal!