Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten

Kindergarten is an important step and transition for parents and their children. For some children, kindergarten is the first interaction they may have had with other children. Preparing your child for school is becoming extremely important. Of course you will want to read books to your child, teach them to count or say their ABCs, but there are also little steps to help ease the conversion into school.

The school that your child will attend will all depend on where your residence is located. Be sure to check all registration deadlines. There are some schools that will limited the amount of new students accepted. For example, when I was in third grade my family moved in the middle of year to a new school. I started out in an elementary school close to my home; however, the following grade had less teachers and they decided to move some students into another school in the district. Since I was one of the last children to be registered, I was the first to be reassigned. Although this may not sound like a big deal, this school change meant an extra thirty minutes for me on the school bus every morning.

It is important that you learn as many things as possible about your child’s new school. Many schools will offer orientations for new kindergarten students and their parents or have an open house. The school district should contact you about this events; however, if they do not call the school to ask. If for some reason your school does not offer these sessions, you can ask to set up a meeting with a school official. Make sure you know you know the school principal’s name, the name of your child’s teacher, the lunch information, and transportation procedures.

If the school will allow it, you should visit the school with your child ahead of time. Be sure to show him/her where their classroom will be located, the lunchroom, office, and other important facilities. This would be a good opportunity to discuss with your child how they should act in school. If you already haven’t started practicing, you should try to teach your child to sit still, listen well, and raise their hand before speaking.

Preparing your child for the “big day” can be fairly nerve-racking; however, it may encourage your child to become excited about school. Starting school is all about learning and becoming slightly independent. Before school begins encourage your child to get dressed, go to the bathroom, and pick up items all by themselves. You should also write your child’s name on all of their belongings. Make sure you show your child where their name is located, this will prevent any confusion among items at school.

Before school starts you may wish to talk to other parents in the neighbor to see if there are any children around your child’s age. If there are you could set up a play date to encourage a friendship. Having a friend or someone you know around on this day will be a big comfort to both child and parents. If your child will be riding the school bus, you must inform them of the procedures and let them know you will be helping them on and off the bus at home. If you will be picking your child up at school it is recommended that you let them know who will be picking them up if you are unable to make it. Many parents and children have a special family password. When choosing a password make sure it is something unique, but easy for your child to remember. Make sure your child knows not to go with anyone who isn’t aware of the family password.

At least a few weeks before school begins, you should start to establish a bedtime routine that will give your child enough rest for school. It is extremely important to make sure that your child is well rested and prepared for their first day of school. Don’t be surprised if your child cries or is afraid to leave you; however, don’t be offended if they don’t. As more parents are beginning to properly prepare their children for kindergarten, more children are becoming excited to start their new adventure.

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