Transitioning to Kindergarten: Part 2
Over the summer, I was really nervous about my daughter’s upcoming transition to Kindergarten. Now, more than halfway through the school year, not only am I amazed at how much my daughter is learning this year, but all of my worries about Kindergarten are completely out the window! My daughter can read, write and do basic math skills. She knows about important dates in history and other fun facts. “How do you know that, Arianna?” has been a frequent question in my household. Her answer is usually, “Because Mrs. Church told me and she knows everything.” She didn’t have any trouble making new friends and because her classroom rotates seating every few weeks, she has been able to form friendships with all of the children in her class.
Here are a few other follow ups on some of the larger concerns I had before Arianna’s transition to Kindergarten.
Adjusting to Kindergarten
Lunch Time: I was so nervous that my daughter wouldn’t have any time to eat. This didn’t happen. Although she does say lunch is too short and she sometimes doesn’t have time to finish everything, she also tells me that she spends the majority of her time socializing with friends instead of actually eating! Some days her lunchbox will come home empty, while some days her full lunch will still be there (minus the snacks, of course). She eats what works for her and has adjusted to the shortened lunch time. I am happy, however, that she’s been able to make friends and have these mid-day interactions.
Separation: Arianna has a special doll that has been attached to her hip for the past few years. She has gotten used to leaving ‘Baby’ at home and has done extremely well! She says goodbye to the baby every morning. Sometimes she leaves her tucked in the bed, sometimes she’ll bring her down to the couch, sometimes the baby comes for the ride. Her Kindergarten class has a rotating ‘Star of the Day’ where the children are able to bring in a Show & Tell item, so ‘Baby’ has been able to make an appearance in her classroom a few times this year.
After-school Care: She did have a bit of trouble with the after-school program at first. She wasn’t adjusting well, not because of the amount of time she was in school (which was my initial concern), but for social reasons. I did explore other options (hiring a babysitter, changing my work schedule, working something out with a family member), but nothing seemed to work better than leaving her in the program. Not knowing anyone in her classroom yet and then being forced to meet a whole new group of children in a more unstructured environment was tough on her. After a few weeks she was fine and now she actually enjoys going. Although it wasn’t easy, the after-school program allowed Arianna to meet children who aren’t in her class and interact with some of the older children as well. They have a snack and do homework (if applicable) or different activities. During the warmer months, she’s able to get outdoors for a few hours before we get home for our nightly routine. She is sometimes tired and worn out when I pick her up, but has adjusted well to the eight hour day.
I was a bit sad at first because Kindergarten officially marks the end of the toddler-preschool ages, however, seeing my daughter grow into such a smart, caring individual is well worth tucking those baby books away. Kindergarten has been an easy, yet bittersweet transition. I may have e-mailed her teacher a few more times than I should have in the beginning of the year, but she was very understanding and answered any concerns I had. I still ask Arianna about what she did in school each day and her response is still ‘nothing’. She does, however, randomly tell me things like the capitol of Massachusetts or the United States, why Rosa Parks wasn’t allowed to sit in the front part of the bus, how to count by 5s or 10s, or how to find static electricity in balloons. When I hear about all of the things that she’s learning, I know exactly what she’s doing in school every day! Also, I was able to get a cute first day of school photo, which I think will be our new first day of school tradition!
Editor’s Note: School readiness is so much more than knowing colors, shapes, and ABCs. Watch our recent parent webinar: School Readiness: Beyond the Basics. Bright Horizons education experts discuss how early classroom experiences shape your child, build confidence, provide skills for school success and how you can extend this learning at home.
- E-family news: Getting Ready for Kindergarten – What to Expect
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Parenting Conversations about Kindergarten & School Age Children
- Read more posts about Kindergarten from the Family Room bloggers