August 22, 2012

Preparing for Kindergarten

If you're sending a child off to kindergarten for the first time this year, you might be a bit nervous or very excited for your child's new adventure.  Hopefully you have been reading with your child regularly to help prepare him or her!  We are taking the time to adjust the children to going to bed earlier, too.

My nearly six year old is ready and excited for kindergarten.  Her school does not require much academically at the beginning of the year in the line of academics. Socially, she is mostly ready, though still immature in some ways.
I've been considering what a child needs to do without help each day when in a classroom, and thought I'd share a few thoughts.  As a former teacher, I do understand a bit of this, though the youngest I taught was first grade.   Please know that the first month of school tends to wear children (and teachers) of all ages.  Be sure that you begin an early bedtime routine prior to the beginning of the school year!


Consider what your child needs to do independently throughout the day.  Will he be able to unpack the backpack and remove his jacket and place them in the appropriate place.   A kindergarten teacher will likely help with shoe tying, but not with bathroom matters.  (If your child has special needs, be sure the school is aware.)  Kindergarten life skills are important; it is more than just zipping and wiping without assistance.

Lunch
In kindergarten, your child will not have the same help as in preschool/at home.  If you send a fruit cup to school, can your child open it?  Can your child open it without a big mess?  You may need to begin opening the mozerella stick or even  place it, opened, in a baggie for your child at the beginning of the year.  Another important aspect for a parent to understand that lunch is a quick affair at school.  If you know your child takes a long time to eat carrots, reserve them for an after school snack.

Practice at Home
I intend to pack lunch for my daughter.  Not all containers open easily by little fingers.  I had my daughter open a reusable container herself.  It was a bit tight for her since it was new.  I now know I shouldn't send it to school until it has been a bit more used.

Transportation
If your child is riding the bus, do they know what to expect?  Is there a friend they can sit with?  Is it allowed or does the driver assign seats?  If you will be picking up your child, be sure that your child understands that they need to be patient.

School Supplies
If your school asks parents to purchase school supplies, don't forget to open them and label them as appropriate.  If it is a large amount of things, consider delivering them when/if you go for orientation prior to school beginning.  As a teacher, I also didn't mind if things like tissues came in a week or two after school had begun.

Here's a tip that a friend shared with me: When you are shopping for school supplies, take the next grade's supply sheet with you, too.  If there are some outrageous deals (looseleaf paper for a penny, 24 Crayola crayons for a quarter...) purchase those items now at the great price for next year.

Enthusiasm
May I suggest that you show your own excitement for your child's new adventure, even if you are a bit apprehensive?  Last year the Countdown to School sign I made was a big hit, so I made another one this year, but I made it as a printable this year.  Get a Countdown to School printable for yourself, if you like.

Those are some of my thoughts, but I thought I'd point you to some professional thoughts, too.  Teach Preschool has plenty to share about preparing a child for full day kindergarten that I had not considered when writing this post.

Any advice for others like me who are doing this for the first time?  

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

1 comment:

  1. love the photo! its so fun. Thanks for stopping by EMI. I know how busy it can get. My blogging time is sparse as well. :)

    ReplyDelete

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