Kindergarten teacher, Carol Wild shares some tips for parents sending their little ones to kindergarten for the first time.
As the beginning of the school year draws near, many of you may be feeling a mix of emotions thinking about sending your little one off to “big kid school”. First; feelings of anxiety, nervousness, and worry are all normal and you are not alone, many parents are feeling the same way. I am going to give you a few tips to help you prepare before school begins and set your mind at ease before the BIG DAY!
Going to Kindergarten is most likely going to be a much longer, more structured day filled with academics, social and emotional learning, and more. First, to help your child and yourself with the early mornings ahead, start working on a consistent bedtime and wake-up schedule. Prepare everything you’ll need in the morning the evening before (layout clothing, pack lunches, pack snacks, etc…). When it comes to structure, children thrive when there is consistency, know what to expect, and actually want it believe it or not. Next, discuss with your child ahead of time things such as where their snacks will be located (within his/her backpack) and confirm what he/she will be doing for lunch (ordering at school or bringing a lunch from home). Remind your child where his/her lunch box is located within their backpack so you know they are ready for lunchtime (a very important thing you don’t want to be worrying about). Take time to write a small note and place it in your child’s lunchbox to let them know you are thinking about them. Most Kindergarten teachers assist students with opening their lunchboxes and are happy to read a love note from Mom & Dad!
Make sure you have talked ahead of time with your child about his/her dismissal routine. Many students are unaware of how they are getting home from school and if you consistently remind them of how they are getting home, that will put their mind at ease and yours. Another helpful tip is to write out your child’s first and last name and how he/she is getting home each day of the week on a colorful index card and create a tag to go on his/her backpack. You can laminate the tag so it will last for the first several weeks. Your child’s teacher will thank you and you will have peace of mind that your child is getting home safely should another staff member in addition to the classroom teacher in the school be helping at dismissal time. It’s better to be over-prepared!
Most schools have a “Meet & Greet” for incoming Kindergarten students, but if you cannot make it, find a time to contact your child’s teacher ahead of time (email, contact the school, Class Facebook Page, Class website, etc...) and plan a time to talk to your child’s teacher if you have questions. Most Kindergarten teachers are willing to do whatever it takes to help put your child and you at ease by answering any questions you may have. When the first day arrives or within the first week, make sure to put any supplies you are donating in a bag for easy carrying. Remember to bring a quiet time blanket and a small comforting stuffed animal (if permitted) for the first day as well.
Lastly, remember to browse your school district’s website/school to become familiar with all of the information available to you. You will find that many of the questions you have can be answered by referring to the district website.
Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s Kindergarten Teacher with any questions or concerns you may have.
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*This blog entry was composed by Carol Wild, kindergarten teacher at Gretchko Elementary School.