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!)
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