Thursday, August 28, 2014

Is Everyone Feeling Ready for Kindergarten?

Back when I was teaching Pre-K, I remember how excited the children were to move onto kindergarten, but the parents were nervous.  I completely understood why; the children were in a cozy little bubble with the same kids and families for 3 years and now everyone (children and parents) are about to make a huge adjustment to new kids, new teachers, new surroundings and new families.

My advice to make this transition easier for everyone:

·         Visit the school a couple of times right before school starts:
o       Play on the playground
o       Practice drop-off/pick-up

·         Talk to your kids about what their day will look like:
o       Tell them it will be a lot like preschool, but bigger and more fun things to do
o       Tell them don’t forget to go potty
o       Remind them to introduce themselves to new friends

·         This may sound silly but have them practice getting their lunch box open and getting their food out.   One thing I constantly heard from kindergarten parents was, “… things are going okay, but they’re not eating their lunch…”   This can create a super cranky kid at pick-up.  A lot of times new kindergarteners are very distracted at lunch time so it takes them along time to get their lunch open and before they know it lunch time is over. Pack containers that are easy to open.

·         Last but not least, do not let them know you are nervous.  Be excited for them, cheer them on; this is a huge step for them!

Being prepared and going through these steps will not only calm your new kindergartener’s nerves, it will help you a ton too knowing you have prepared your child for this next step!

Good luck and know it is okay to cry!  I will be right there with you in a couple of years (just don’t cry in front of them!)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Prepping for School: My Favorite Supplies!

As a mom and a teacher, I feel I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t as far as school supplies go.  When I was teaching I remember those lunch boxes that were so hard to shut or shoes that we always had to spend an extra minute tying.  Every minute counted in the classroom to keep our kiddos on schedule and in our routine….The same goes for at home with 2 kids.

Here is a list of my favorite items as a mom and a teacher:

We will be using our lunchbox from Pottery Barn Kids for a second year in a row. We have the “Classic”.   It is big, durable, thermal insulated and easy to clean.  We got it on sale; usually the following year’s patterns go on sale towards the end of the summer.

We bought her backpack at Pottery Barn Kids and will be using it for a second year.  I chose not to get her name on it so little sister can use it when big sis grows out of it.  We have the “small.”  It was a little big when she started preschool, but it was never too heavy for her to carry on her back.  The “mini” was too small to fit her school folder, lunchbox, sharing toy and other miscellaneous items that find their way into her backpack.

Re-usable Snack bags and containers: Amazon and Klean Kanteen
I am a huge fan of re-usable containers.  I love Good Lunch snack bags for all the dry items I pack in her lunch.  They wash well and even better when you line-dry them.

For storing fruit, turkey slices (anything moist) I love Klean Kanteen containers.  They are a little heavy in her lunchbox, but I would rather use these than plastic.  There are a bunch of other brands out there also.

I love Native Shoes!  They are easy to slip on, clean well and look really cute!  Do your teachers a huge favor and do not put your kiddos in tie shoes or any shoes that are hard to put on.  Kids love, and feel successful, when they can do it on their own. Native Shoes are a win, win for everyone!

What are some of your favorite products? I’d love to hear about them too!