Moving into kindergarten is a big step for children and their parents. If they have never been in a school environment before, it’s an even bigger transition to deal with. It can mean a whole new school, new teachers, and a new classroom, not to mention more structured learning and a longer school day. It’s important to prepare your child before kindergarten starts; here are some tips on how to do it.
Plan A Visit
If possible, book in a visit to your child’s new school so that they get a chance to see what it’s like before that daunting first day. If they have already met their teacher and seen their learning environment, they are less likely to be afraid of going. It’s not just the classroom that’s important though; try to see as much of the rest of the school as possible including the cafeteria, the gym, the outside play areas, and anywhere else where your child is likely to spend some time.
Have A Bedtime Routine
Your child is going to be exhausted during their first few weeks (or even months) at their new school. It’s important to have a good bedtime schedule in place at least a month before their first day as it will make things a lot easier for them once school starts. Parents often allow their children to stay up longer during the summer because it’s lighter outside and there is less of a structure to the day, but this will need to be stopped in the weeks leading up to kindergarten starting. If your preschooler is still taking naps, it’s time to phase them out; they won’t get to have one at school.
Work Out Your Morning Routine
Many parents (and children) find the time between waking up and getting to school the hardest part of the day. It is often rushed and frantic, and things can easily be forgotten. Tempers can fray. Before school starts, it’s a good idea to try some dry runs to work out exactly what time everyone will need to be up and dressed and out of the door. Make sure you allow enough time for breakfast as this can help your child concentrate better in their lessons.
Work Out Your Afternoon Routine
In many households, both parents work for at least part of the week, and this can mean needing a routine for after school pickup, homework, and mealtimes. You’ll need to plan all of this in advance, and make sure that your child can get home from school every day. It’s not just the adults who need to understand this routine either; let your child know who is picking them up and to whose house they will go each day.
Make It Special
Many children will be nervous about their first day of kindergarten. It is much more grown-up than preschool was, and it will be a lot different. They are going into the unknown. In order to stop them feeling so nervous and worried, parents need to show them how special school is. Don’t let your child know that you’re sad they’re going; remind them of how much they will learn and how many new friends they will make. On the day before school starts, take them out for a special day together. Do something fun. It’s a lovely idea to get them a gorgeous new outfit to go to school in, and you can browse some stunning designs on this site. While you’re out, you can also buy all their school supplies and get them involved so that they become excited rather than scared.