Starting kindergarten is difficult for some children, especially children who have had no preschool experiences. There are so many expectations and skills needed to survive the first year of school. It’s a big deal! But take it easy, plan for the transition, and give your child the tools he or she needs to succeed and have an awesome experience in school. Here are some ideas to facilitate the jump from home to school.
- Consistent Schedule. Begin a daily schedule and stick to it. You can have a visual daily schedule with pictures of activities to help you and your child stay on track (similar to what his or her school will have). This helps your child develop predictability and assists you with organization.
- Give Responsibilities. Offer new chores to do and review the importance of completing tasks within the time allowed. These efforts will help your child begin to understand the importance of beginning and finishing assignments and tasks.
- Take Turns. If your child is an only child, this particular strategy will help your child learn to share the materials easier in his or her classroom. As you and I know, everything in the classroom is “owned” by the teacher. Kindergarteners have to take turns with all of the supplies in the school. Practice turn-taking at home to help your child learn to share property with others.
- Model Behavior. Your child is a reflection of you. Always model good manners and assist your child with being respectful of everyone in his environment when needed. Be polite and model the use of proper words.
- Safety. Talk about stranger danger and about the people who are going to pick your child up from school. Discuss emergency scenarios to empower your child with options on what to do in different situations. Visit the school and talk to your child about safety and rules.
- Homemade School Book. Take pictures of the school, playground, classroom, and teacher to make a book with your child. Look at the book daily to familiarize your child to the new setting and talk positively about it. You can also check out books about starting school from your public library.
- School Supplies. Make school shopping fun and positive, which will motivate your child to begin school. Encourage individuality keeping the school list in mind.
- Stay Involved. Attend all meetings with your child before the first day of school to expose your future kindergartener to the importance of school involvement. Look for other Internet resources to help prepare your child for kindergarten.
Remember YOU can make the difference!