5 Tips for Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten
Kindergarten is one of the major life milestones for a child, and for the parents. It can be a big transition for your child, especially if he has not already been attending pre-school. You may worry your child will have a hard time adjusting to a real school environment and being away from you for so long. While there is always some adjustment, there are things you can do to help ease the transition from your child being your baby to a full-fledged kid.
Talk about It
At least a few weeks before kindergarten is set to begin, talk to your child about all the fun and exciting things he will be doing. Plant the seeds that it will be a positive experience. This will also give you an opportunity to answer any questions your child may have or allay any fears he may be experiencing. Listen carefully to what he is saying to identify any emotions such as confusion or anxiety, and address these issues accordingly.
Set Up Some Playdates
In most cases, you will receive a list of other classmates and their parents, along with contact information. Before school starts, it may be a good idea to set up some playdates with children who will be in the same class as yours. This can help ease the transition. When your child walks in on that first day, he will already see some familiar faces.
Focus on Socializing
Kindergarten will involve prolonged interaction with other children on a daily basis for hours on end; how well your child integrates and enjoys kindergarten will hinge on how well he can get along with other children and relate to them. If she has already attended pre-school, your child will probably already be adept at this, but if not, you may want to consider enrolling him in activities that allow him to interact with other children in a group setting, such as a gymnastics class or music class. You may also sign him up for a summer day camp program right before school begins. On a somewhat related note, you want your child to get used to being away from you for longer periods of time—you might consider setting up sleepovers with your child’s friends or a weekend with grandma.
Establish a Routine
Routines are always a good idea when getting younger children to do something; the sooner you ease your child into it, the easier the transition to kindergarten will be. A few weeks before your child is set to start school, start practicing the ‘’school routine.’’ Put your child to bed at the time you would expect them to go to bed before school. When your child gets up in the morning, have him wash, get dressed and eat breakfast just as he would if he were about to go off to school.
Involve Your Child in the Process
Whenever you can, involve your child in the process; if you are taking her shopping for clothes, let her pick some stuff out—within reason of course! She is going to need school supplies and you should go shopping for them together. If you want to get name labels for kids to mark her supplies, clothing or anything else that belongs to your child, they come in many designs and it can be fun for your child to pick which one he likes best.