What You Should Be Doing NOW To Get Your Child Ready For Kindergarten
Starting kindergarten is a milestone in your child’s life, and getting them kindergarten ready sets them up for the best beginning. It’s an exciting time, but also one that is characterized by adjustment. Although they are growing up, kids that are just entering school are still so young. Transitioning into school can be a big leap for them, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be stressful. There are some steps you can take at home to help prepare your child for success in kindergarten. Summer is the perfect time to get your child kindergarten ready which will still keep their vacation fun and at the same time set them up for the best success when the new school year starts.
Have A Positive Attitude
Some children are excited at the thought of going to school, but for others the idea can be frightening or overwhelming. It can be very helpful for them if you as the parent have a positive attitude towards it. This might include answering any questions they may have, or even just talking to them about what an average day might look like. The more excited and enthusiastic your attitude towards school is, the more likely they are to feel positively towards it as well.
Communicate With The School
Most schools have some sort of orientation process that will help equip families with all the info they will need for kindergarten entry. As a parent, the more you know about what the child’s day will look like, the better you can help prepare them. The orientation process might involve going for a tour of the classroom with your child so they can get comfortable with the surroundings. Helping your little one become acclimated with their new school will help them feel more safe and at home there.
Get Them Ready For Learning
In the time before school starts, you can help prepare your child by reading with them, and practicing learning. Try and find little opportunities throughout the day to go over numbers and letters, and to talk about interpreting the things they see in books and pictures. This doesn’t need to be a structured thing, in fact it’s probably better if it happens more naturally with very little pressure.
Teach Them The Basics
Along with their new bit of independence, they can start to learn the basics about their identity which can be helpful for their safety. Teach them things like their names, age and address. Additionally, it’s a good time to review stranger danger, and the proper names for body parts. Another important thing to go over with your child to help them be successful in school is personal space boundaries. This is for the benefit of your child’s safety, but also because it can be hard for very young kids to learn to regulate themselves. Your child will have an easier time interpersonally if they understand and respect boundaries and “hands to self” rules.
Try To Establish A Routine
Many kindergarten classes are now full-day, which means that your child is going to have to get used to a big new routine. You can start to help your kid make this adjustment early by establishing a routine. This includes getting dressed in the morning, making sure they get enough sleep and establishing structures and play times. It’s not important to be super rigid about it, but getting them used to a predictable, structured routine can help them learn the skills to cope with a school-day schedule.
Get Them Engaging With Other Kids
A huge adjustment once kindergarten starts is the socialization. This might not be a big shock if your child is around other kids often, but if your child is not accustomed to being in large groups of kids then this could be a big difference for them. A way you can help them learn to socialize with other kids is to take them to environments where they will be around other children. This might be playgroups, or simply playdates with other families. This is a good way to help them learn to interact with others, practice respecting boundaries, and give them opportunities to resolve conflict with their peers.
Going to School is a new adventure, but it doesn’t have to be scary
There are things you can be doing now to help your child prepare for school. And the more prepared they are, the easier it will be for them to adjust to the new routines and expectations they may face in kindergarten.
Congratulations on growing up!
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