Tips for Transitioning From Preschool to Kindergarten

S o you’ve gotten through daycare and preschool, now what? Kindergarten can be a big transition for your little one, especially if they are going from a private center to a public school. They are leaving everyone that has become familiar to them behind and have to learn how to cope with the higher demands that come along with being a kindergartener. Here are some ways to assist you as a parent in guiding them along the way:

  • Communicate: Make a point to talk and answer questions with them as much as possible about their new school and the transition they are making. The best thing you can do is stay positive and encourage your child to develop an eagerness to learn. You are the biggest influence in their life, so if they can sense your excitement they will follow your lead.
  • Familiarize: When everything is brand new, it can be very scary and intimidating. Make sure to schedule a time to tour the school and meet with their teacher beforehand. Becoming familiar with where they will be spending their days will ease their nerves. If possible, reach out to other parents in their class to set up a play date, making friends prior to their first day will make them more comfortable.
  • Practice: Establish a routine, have them wake up and go to bed at the time they will be for school. Do your research on the content and pace of the curriculum, have them complete readings and exercises similar to those they will be doing in class. Get a feel of what will happen at what time throughout their day and begin to prep them so there are no surprises. For example: circle time is followed by snack time and nap time is after music time.
  • Connect: Make a conscious effort to get involved; it is just as much your new school as it is your child’s.Join committees, even if you can’t make every meeting. Joining a group of parents who are just like you can be extremely beneficial and you could become aware of resources you wouldn’t have otherwise. Volunteer in the classroom, even if you can’t make a continuous habit out of it. It is important for your child to associate you with their new environment and you supporting them while being there is something that they will remember as they grow up. If possible, be sure to stay connected with the school’s website and social media accounts too!
  • Educate: There are a number of basics that your child should know before entering kindergarten. It is your job to educate them and make sure they are both aware and capable of these things. They should be able to take care of their personal needs, listen to an adult, follow directions and cooperate and play with other children both alone and in small groups.

Kindergarten readiness means making sure your child has the skills needed to be successful in school as well as working together with your child care provider and new teacher to meet your child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs. Use these tips to prepare your child and be sure to let us know if you have anything to add or find something that works better!

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