IS YOUR CHILD HEADING OFF TO KINDERGARTEN? IS HE READY? ARE YOU?
Just two years ago I sent my twins off to kindergarten for the first time. I was not ready for this incredibly emotional experience! Worry, fear, excitement were just a few of the emotions I experienced as I watched my little girls transition from preschool to elementary school. And this is coming from a former Kindergarten classroom teacher!
I use to be on the other side of the classroom. Worried, teary-eyed moms would drop off their 5-year old “babies” and place them in my care for six hours! At that time I did not fully understand the depth of emotions these women were feeling, as I was living my pre-mommy existence. When it was my turn, I got it and I got it hard! Now, as I get ready to send my twins to second grade and my youngest to preschool, I wish I’d had been handed some advice on how to handle such a big transition. That said I would like to share some tips/advice that may help you and your little one as they venture off to the world of kindergarten!
TALK IT OUT!
Transitioning to kindergarten is a BIG milestone for your child. He may feel a variety of emotions. It is important to talk to him about what he is feeling. It is very difficult for young children to express their emotions, so it’s important for parents to guide them. Help him address his concerns. Ask, “What fun activities do you think your teacher will have in your classroom?” Or “How are you feeling?”
KINDERGARTEN SHOPPING DAY!
Celebrate this new transition by making a big deal about the school supplies needed for Kindergarten. Take your child shopping so he can pick out his new book bag, lunch bag, school shoes, etc. Making it a positive and exciting experience for your child will help with this transition.
This tip can include the whole family! Practicing your morning school routine gives your child a sense of security and sets him at ease. Let him know where you will have his clothes and shoes in the morning, and where he needs to be to get on his school bus! Give him a tour of the school so he can feel comfortable in his new school environment. If you can, set-up a classroom visit so he can meet his teacher and see his classroom!
THE BIG DAY HAS ARRIVED!
This is the day you have been waiting for and working towards! Make sure to share your joy and excitement with your little one. If they are scared or nervous, reassure them that they will be ok and that it’s normal to feel this way. Try your best not to show any fear or worry on your part. Give them a big hug and get them off to their classroom.
I hope you find this information helpful. I promise you and your child will get through this major transition together!
Yolanda is the mom of 3 young children in the Delaware Valley. She is the Founder of Team Tutor.