Preparing your child for kindergarten

Partners Post, July 2014

If you have a child who will be entering kindergarten this year, you no doubt have high expectations, as well as some stress and uncertainty for the new experience. Today’s kindergarten classrooms have high expectations for children’s academic achievement, social skills, and independence, so of course you want to do everything possible to help prepare your child for this important transition.

Kindergarten will be a time of many changes for your child, even if your child has been in an active preschool program. Kindergartners must adjust to new teachers, new children, new schedules, and routines. Having a successful entry into kindergarten will help your child have a positive attitude about school and learning.

Here are a few tips from educators on what you can do to help prepare your child for a successful transition to kindergarten:

  • Go to a bookstore or the library to find books about starting kindergarten and read them to your child. Discuss what you read and use the opportunity to speak positively about school and to identify your child’s concerns.
  • Talk enthusiastically with your child about starting kindergarten. Be positive and show your own excitement.
  • Know the date when your child will start kindergarten and talk in a countdown style as you remind your child and help prepare for this milestone event. Reassure your child about any feelings of anxiety or fear, and answer their questions.
  • Try to visit the school in advance, or at least walk by it. Talk about how your child will get to and from the school.
  • Tell your child about the kinds of work he or she will be doing in kindergarten. Talk about and practice new routines that will come with starting kindergarten.
  • Plan to spend a little extra time on the first day of school with your child but think about this step in advance so that you are aware to be helpful to your child, rather than saying a long good-bye for the day.

 

 

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