How to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten
Posted on June 21 2018
Tips for both of you to confidently navigating this new milestone.
Preparing your child for kindergarten can be both exciting and terrifying for most parents, but rest assured – your anxious feelings are normal. After all, this transition is a significant milestone in your child's life! To help ease them – and you – into a new routine, use these tips to help you both navigate this pivotal new stage with confidence:
- Discuss what their school day will be like
- Visit the school with your child
- Make friends in advance
- Ask your child about their concerns
- Read to your child regularly
Read on to learn more about how to prepare your child for kindergarten below.
1. Discuss what their school day will be like
New experiences aren’t quite as intimidating to face if you know what to expect beforehand. Be sure to talk to your soon-to-be kindergartner about what their new schedule will be like once school starts. From a new wake-up time in the morning and how they will get to school (i.e., walk, bus, car) to activities they might expect and what time they will come home, be sure to review a typical day together. Talk about it enthusiastically in terms of what they “get to do” instead of what will happen or what they “have to do.” Kids thrive on routine, so go over everything more than once. As the idea of their new kindergarten routine becomes more familiar, it will seem less overwhelming and scary.
2. Visit the school with your child
Before kindergarten starts, take a trip to school to meet your child’s teacher(s), the school principal, and look around their new classroom. Checking out their new environment in advance will also help build familiarity – and excitement! – about what the new year has in store. This school visit can also help ease some of your concerns as you tour the school and chat with the staff about how you can best work together to ensure a happy and productive experience for your child.
3. Make friends in advance
If it’s possible, arrange to have your child meet one or more of their future classmates before school starts. With a familiar face to look forward to on those first anxious days of kindergarten, your child and their new pal(s) can brave these unchartered waters together – and plant the seeds of a budding new friendship.
4. Ask your child about their concerns
When preparing your child for kindergarten, it helps to reassure them that it’s OK to be a little nervous. Invite them to share anything they're afraid of so you can address each of these uneasy thoughts with love and care. Work together to find solutions that will help alleviate fear and induce eagerness to begin this brand-new chapter in their life.
5. Read to your child regularly
One of the best ways you can prepare your kids for kindergarten academically is to read with them, take them to the library, and tell or create stories. Promoting literacy every day will help them build the skills they'll need to thrive in kindergarten and beyond. Fun, kid-friendly tools like the Toobaloo and Eye Lighter can help them practice pronunciation, promote fluency, and enhance comprehension – and make excellent additions to their pencil pouches!
Discover 9 ways to make reading fun here.
These tips for preparing your child for kindergarten can help you both feel more comfortable as they enter this new stage of life. For more ways to promote reading, speech, and comprehension, visit our blog or shop our collection of teacher-designed learning tools online today.