10 Ways to Help Your Child Get Ready for Kindergarten
Getting Ready for Kindergarten
Whether or not your child attended preschool, kindergarten is the beginning of a new phase in every child and parents' lives. My daughter was thrilled to begin kindergarten, but she was also very nervous, and it took some adjusting for the whole family.
There are several ways to help your child prepare for kindergarten and ways to help ease the transition. Preschool ,of course is very helpful, but there are other ways you can help them as well. After talking to my daughter’s kindergarten teacher I found that some kids are better adjusted at the beginning and the reasons for that can vary, but many of them were just more prepared than others. Here are some tips to help your child.
Help your Child Prepare for Kindergarten with these Tips
1. Practice your schedule. There are some programs that are made specifically to prepare a child for kindergarten. Our school had a program called Kinder-Camp and sometimes churches and youth programs will offer these types of programs too. These work especially well in helping the kids that didn't go to preschool to see what to expect on their first day.
2. Talk to them about it. Don’t be afraid to let them know exactly what happens in school. Some parents think this will make their child a little nervous, and most likely it will, but your child will do better on the first day if they know what to expect.
3. Practice listening and quiet time. If your child has never been in a preschool or daycare setting they may have trouble understanding why it is important to be quiet during certain times of the day, or to listen very closely to the teacher. Pretend you are at school and practice those times. Play school with them!
4. Leave your child with someone you trust. Many children who have a hard time in kindergarten simply haven’t been away from their parents very much. Practice this by taking them on play dates or get a babysitter and leave them for a bit, children need to know and trust that you will return and with some kids it just takes practice.
5. Visit your child’s school. Many schools offer a designated time for children to come see their classroom and meet their teacher. Take advantage of this. Your child can meet his or her teacher and see where they will be spending their time at school.
6. Find out what kindergarten teachers expect of your child. Some kindergarten teachers have requirements, so make sure you know what they are so you can prepare your child. When I enrolled my daughter there was a simple quiz I had to fill out to have her enrolled, it asked certain questions about whether or not she could write her name, use the restroom alone, and recite the alphabet.
7. Give your child something of YOURS to take with them. This really comforted my daughter; I let her wear a very special necklace of mine. I told her to think of me and touch the necklace when she got nervous. Many parents give their children a locket with their picture in it or a keychain with a picture frame.
8. Get involved in school. Volunteer in your child’s classroom or cafeteria. I work in my daughter’s class one day a week and it thrills her, I also love getting the chance to see how she does in school and talk to the teacher about her progress.
9. Read books to your children about starting kindergarten. There are many great books I have listed below about children starting kindergarten. Kids love hearing stories about how other children experienced school. The stories bring the excitement to life and help get kids ready for their 'big day.'
How to help Encourage Your Child to Read
10. Don’t make a big deal about saying goodbye. There is a difference between staying and making sure your child is comfortable, and ‘dragging out’ your goodbye. The more you drag out your goodbye the more anxiety that will build up in your child. If you make your goodbye short and sweet (no matter how hard it is) your child will sense that you are at ease about them staying at school.
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