What can parents do to prepare for kindergarten and offer the best experience for your child?
Emotionally, kindergarten is a big step.
To set your child on the right path, and help to smoothly transition and adjust to the new rhythm, there are a few things you can do. Here’s what to know.
Talk to Your Child
It sounds simple, right?
Yet, talk to your child and explain what is about to happen.
Children are naturally inquisitive. Take advantage of that natural inclination to talk to them and answer any question they may have.
Do not wait the day before, of course. Start conversations early.
Try to give them enough time, to discover, process, and ask their questions. Explain what kindergarten is, what it will be like, what they will learn, the new friends they will make, and what they will do.
How about driving to their future school building and show them how it looks like?
Take the opportunity to show them where they will go, where they will play and learn, and let them share their feelings about the new change.
Take the opportunity to introduce your child to their new director and teacher and have them discover the new classroom environment.
In other words, plan visits before the start, to make sure they feel comfortable.
Get Them Involved
If you are about to buy some school items for kindergarten, it’s the perfect time to involve your child in the process.
It’s fun to get new stuff. We all agree with that.
So, why no giving them the opportunity to choose their backpack, favorite lunchbox, or clothes for their first day at school?
It will increase their confidence, self-esteem, and independence, and help them emotionally prepare for kindergarten.
Shopping together is fun and creates special memories.
Prepare for Kindergarten by Establishing Routines
The recent new normal literally had an impact on everyone including your child.
With families staying at home, most of them struggled to keep their daily routines or got somewhat looser keeping schedules. And that’s okay.
If flexibility in schedules has its place in a child’s development, to prepare for kindergarten, it is important to bring these routines back.
Typically, consistency is an essential part of your child’s preparation and adaptation to the new environment and rhythm.
So, where to start and what to do?
Prepare For Kindergarten Without Stress
The transition to kindergarten is a big change. The transition from play-based activities to more academic learning, longer days at school, a new environment with new people, as exciting as these changes can appear to be, can cause fear and anxiety.
Do not underestimate their impact on your child.
All of that can be mitigated by providing children with a framework of routines and discussions. There is no other secret success recipe than preparation and implementation.
If your child is about to start kindergarten this year, start engaging and communicating with them early enough as you reinforce routines.
Routines offer a sense of security and stability in their environment. Do not expect children to react as adults. As a parent, you need to gain an understanding that the predictability of their environment help them thrive.
Have you already connected with your child’s future kindergarten teacher?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Willowdale Children's Academy is a child care agency located in Chester County, PA, specialized in early learning with schools in Chadds Ford, Kennett Square, Avondale, and West Chester, PA. We offer programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, after school care, and summer camps.