The transition to kindergarten is a big one for both kids and parents. Your little ones may be excited to finally be “big kids,” but the change can also be scary. And since their routine is about to change the moment they become Kindergartens, there is a need to help them prepare for the big day.
But what should every parent know to help prepare kids for kindergarten? Here are six tips that can help:
Enroll Them in a Quality Pre-school
There’s no doubt that where you enroll your child before kindergarten can have a significant impact on your little’s one’s readiness for the next level. Some people think they can enroll their kids in the nearest preschool, considering the convenient location and safety of their kids are the only things they need to worry about. In reality, preschool helps develop not just cognitive skills but social and emotional ones, which are vital for success in kindergarten.
Remember that not all preschools are the same. Studies show that learners who attend a quality preschool are more likely to reap the benefits throughout their lives. So before you even think about where you’ll be enrolling your child in kindergarten, take a step back and choose the right preschool first.
Look for a pre-K school that has teachers who are passionate about teaching and have the necessary experience in nurturing young minds. The ideal preschool will also have a curriculum that prepares kids for kindergarten. For best results, choose one that has a comprehensive Montessori-style teaching approach and cares about young learners’ physical, social, and emotional learning.
Talk About It Beforehand
After successfully completing preschool and before they go to kindergarten, talk to your child. Tell them what they can expect from kindergarten to alleviate any fears or concerns they may have. This will help set their expectations and excite them for the new adventure ahead.
Include in your discussions what will happen and what’s expected of them once they become Kindergartners. Listen to any fears or concerns they may have so that you can address them directly.
You can also visit the school a few times before the first day of class so they can see their new classroom, meet their teacher, and get a feel for the surroundings. This way, they’ll be more comfortable on their first day.
Talk About the School Schedule
If your child is coming from a preschool or home with a flexible schedule, they may be in for a bit of a shock when they start kindergarten. This is because they will now begin following a more structured school schedule.
So, in the weeks leading up to their first day, sit down with them and talk about what a typical day will be like. This includes discussing the different activities they’ll do, such as reading time, recess, lunch, and nap time.
Don’t forget to talk about the rules they’ll need to follow, such as raising their hand to speak and being respectful to their classmates. This can help your child understand what will likely happen once school starts.
Set a Schedule and Stick to It
For Kindergarteners, daily routines are essential. Their day is filled with various activities, and they need to know what’s coming next to stay focused. This is why it pays to start setting a daily schedule at home a few weeks before school starts.
The following tips can help you create a routine that will get them ready for kindergarten:
- Wake them up at the same time every morning
- Help them pick their outfits and get dressed for the day
- Make breakfast fun by serving up their favorite foods
- Let them have snacks and lunch at similar times as they will in school
- Set aside time for homework and reading by giving them activities at home
- Prepare their backpack the night before
- Start winding down for bedtime an hour before their actual bedtime
Having a daily routine in place will help your child feel more comfortable and confident as they head off to their first day of kindergarten.
Create a Reading Nook at Home
One way to prepare your child for kindergarten is by creating a reading nook at home. This can be a special spot in their room or in the living room where they can go to read their favorite books.
Be sure to fill the nook with various books, including picture books, easy readers, chapter books, and non-fiction titles. This will help them develop a love for reading and allow them to explore different genres and topics.
In addition to the reading nook, ensure you have a designated spot for homework and school projects. This will help them get into the habit of doing their work at home and make it part of their daily routine.
Give Them Opportunities to Socialize With Other Kids Their Age
At kindergarten, your child will spend most of their day with other kids their age. This is why giving them opportunities to socialize with other kids in the weeks leading up to school is crucial.
There are a few different ways you can do this, and the following are some ways that can help:
- Sign them up for a local sports team or after-school activity
- Arrange playdates with kids in the neighborhood
- Take them to the park so they can meet other kids
- Enroll them in a local daycare or preschool
- Attending a summer camp
These activities will help your child socialize with other kids their age. By doing this, they’ll learn how to interact with their classmates, share, and even make friends when they start kindergarten.
Starting kindergarten is a big step for both kids and parents. It’s normal to feel some anxiety about this change, but there are things you can do to help your child adjust. Starting kindergarten is a big step for both kids and parents. It’s normal to feel some anxiety about this change, but there are things you can do to help your child adjust. By following the tips above, you can help your child prepare for kindergarten and set them up for success.