I remember the anticipation of my children starting kindergarten so vividly – exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time! It’s a big step for moms and their little ones and also the official start of their child’s school career. It’s no wonder moms want everything to go smoothly.
Here are 8 tips for moms of new kindergarteners:
1. Socialize Before School Begins
Get together with friends who will be starting kindergarten at the same time as your child before the school year begins. By giving your child plenty of opportunities to socialize and interact in groups of children, he will be better prepared for joining 20 or more kids, especially if this is his first time being a part of a large group. Having a friend or acquaintance on the first day can be a big comfort to new students.
2. Pack Smart
Keep things simple when it comes to your child’s lunch box and backpack. While it can be tempting to create Pinterest-worthy works of art for lunch, remember that lunch breaks are short and little ones don’t eat fast. Make sure she knows how to open her own containers and that you give her food she is sure to gobble up. You don’t want her going hungry because she can’t open her yoghurt or thermos and is too shy to ask for help. Also, ensure her backpack is the right size for her so she isn’t struggling to carry it around.
3. Connect with Your Child’s Teacher
Make an effort to connect one-on-one with your child’s teacher as soon as you can, and be sure to let them know essential information about your child such as allergies, special conditions or even small fears. Teachers appreciate the extra insight, as it can make a big difference in the daily rhythm of the classroom and your child’s day.
4. Teach Basic Self-Care
Talk to your child about going to the washroom, washing hands, sneezing into his arm instead of hands and other self-help skills like tying his own shoes, zipping up zippers and buttoning clothing. For many kids, kindergarten may be their first time doing these things outside of the home.
5. Practice Skills
Give your child plenty of practice with typical school tools such as scissors, glue sticks, markers, etc. before she begins school. Not only are these great skills to have, they will also help her focus more on learning instead of simply working on the basic mechanics of using these items.
6. Foster Responsibility
Your child is never too young to help out and it’s never too early to start! Teach him how to clean up after snacks or lunch time, how to tidy toys and books in his room and empty his backpack at the end of the day. When school starts, he will be better prepared for what is expected of him during the daily routine.
7. Get the Lay of the Land
Most school’s offer an orientation day for soon-to-be kindergarteners. It’s a great opportunity to ease any first day jitters you and your child may have. Visit her classroom, find out where she will put her belongings, where she will have lunch, and more. This will help her feel much more at ease on the first day of school.
8. Be Involved
Volunteering time in the classroom is the best way to get to know your child’s teacher and his classmates better, plus you get a peek into daily life in the classroom (and you can spy on your cutie, too). Give some of your time by helping with reading or special crafts – teachers always appreciate extra hands during the early years and it feels great doing it, too.
By Kristen Wint