The transition to kindergarten can be a big change for parents and children. Preparing your child for kindergarten can be both exciting and terrifying for most parents, but it is normal that you will get anxious feelings. In this post, biglifez.com will help you with a guide on how to prepare your children for kindergarten.
How to Prepare Your Children for Kindergarten
1. Discuss what their school day will be like
New experiences aren’t quite as intimidating to face if you know what to expect beforehand. Be sure to talk to your soon-to-be kindergartner about what their new schedule will be like once school starts. From a new wake-up time in the morning and how they will get to school (i.e., walk, bus, car) to activities they might expect and what time they will come home, be sure to review a typical day together. Talk about it enthusiastically in terms of what they “get to do” instead of what will happen or what they “have to do.” Kids thrive on routine, so go over everything more than once. As the idea of their new kindergarten routine becomes more familiar, it will seem less overwhelming and scary.
2. Plan a kindergarten visit
One of the good ways to prepare your children for kindergarten is to plan a kindergarten visit. Visiting the new classroom or school with your child will help make preparing for kindergarten easier for him/her. Make sure you include a visit to the cafeteria, gym, playground, etc. If possible, meet with your child’s new kindergarten teacher. Some of these may be included in an orientation that the new class or school provides. But, if not, try to arrange a school visit on your own. If a visit doesn’t work with your schedule, maybe a relative or neighbor whose child attends the same school can take your child.
3. Encourage independence and self-care
In Kindergarten, teachers will often give multi-part directions that require children to complete a number of tasks. Encouraging your child to be independent and learn how to care for themselves and manage their own things helps them master the ability to handle multiple tasks at school too.
4. Make friends in advance
If it’s possible, arrange to have your child meet one or more of their future classmates before school starts. With a familiar face to look forward to on those first anxious days of kindergarten, your child and their new pal(s) can brave these unchartered waters together – and plant the seeds of a budding new friendship.
5. Ask your child about their concerns
When preparing your child for kindergarten, it helps to reassure them that it’s OK to be a little nervous. Invite them to share anything they’re afraid of so you can address each of these uneasy thoughts with love and care. Work together to find solutions that will help alleviate fear and induce eagerness to begin this brand-new chapter in their life.
6. Establish strong routines at home
Routines help children learn, make them feel safe and in control of their world, and foster their self-confidence and sense of belonging within the family. Some key family routines that will help children feel ready for kindergarten include:
Bedtime routines ensure kids get a good night’s sleep and will be ready for the next day’s adventures. Some important parts of a bedtime routine include a consistent bedtime and a predictable order of activities (e.g., take a bath, put on pajamas, brush teeth, read a favorite story or sing a favorite song, get a goodnight hug or kiss from their caregiver).
Family Mealtime Routines
Having a family mealtime routine is not only an opportunity to teach your children about healthy eating habits but is also a chance to spend quality time talking with your children, which builds their language and strengthens their relationship with you. You can also build routines around mealtime that will be useful to your children in school, such as washing your hands before dinner or teaching them how to clear dishes from the table.
7. Keep informed of school happenings
If your child is leaving an early childhood education program, you may find that your child’s kindergarten experience may be less personalized than your experience in child care. You will have to act as your child’s advocate in some situations. Keep informed. Read everything that comes home. Occasionally visit the school or kindergarten classroom if your work situation allows you. Knowing the school secretary, nurse, principal, etc., and introducing yourself and your child to them may also help prepare your child for kindergarten.