How to Transition to Kindergarten Easier
I know it sounds cliché, but I honestly can’t believe that school is starting soon and in two weeks my daughter will start first grade! It has been a roller coaster ride navigating public school for the first time. Looking back, here are a few of the things I wish I had known (or listened to) earlier, hopefully some of it will help those of you starting school this fall:
- Pack lunch the night before, it really does make a difference.
- Set expectations ahead of time regarding how often your child can buy lunch in the school cafeteria. We agreed that our daughter could buy lunch on Friday’s – pizza day – and that was it.
- You won’t be invited into the classroom on a regular basis. So, get ready to feel a little out of the loop. And, volunteer any time you can so that you can be in the classroom and/or meet your child’s classmates. It really does make a HUGE difference.
- Teach your child your cell phone number. You’ll feel better if you know they know how to call you in an emergency.
- Be prepared to use up a lot of vacation time at the start of the school year – there are a lot of half days the first two months of school.
- Have a back-up plan. The hours are less flexible, so have a plan for what you will do if you get called in for a late meeting, or need to travel for work. Asking a neighbor to meet the bus is a great solution in a pinch!
- Transitioning into Kindergarten will be one of the easier school transitions you make. Everyone is new in Kindergarten!
- Write your child’s name in everything!
- Buy a full size backpack. It will look huge, but you’ll need the space.
- If your child is taking the bus on a regular basis, don’t drive them to school the first week. I wanted nothing more than to make sure my daughter got to school ok, and really wanted to drive her myself so that I could see firsthand that the transition was smooth. I’m so glad I didn’t. She needed to start with her new routine the first day.
I think most importantly, you need to relax. Millions of kids have transitioned to school before. And, chances are, your child’s teacher has been through this with hundreds of children before yours. So, put confidence in your child’s teacher that they know what to do.
Lastly, enjoy. Kindergarten was an amazing year. It was so much fun to see my daughter reach so many amazing learning milestones last year. So, savor every moment.
- E-family news: Getting Ready for Kindergarten – What to Expect
- E-family news: Moving on Up! Transitioning to the Next Early Education Classroom