How to Prep Your Future Kindergartner for a School Routine
Help Make This Big Step For Your Child Easier
Many children have already attended pre-school. A lot have gone to daycare their whole lives. There are thise that this will be a first, and it is a big transition. Even chilldren who attended pre-school are not used to going everyday and having responsibilities.
Back to School
For many families it is back to school time. Even many families with a future kindergartner have already been through this routine, so it is indeed back to school time. For those that have their first child entering kindergarten though, it is not “back to school” time. It is letting go for the first time time.
Kindergarten is an amazing time. It is that time when you realize your baby, although a mere five years old, is no longer a baby. In kindergarten he/she will have responsibilities like homework, class participation and for those who never went to pre-school or day care, their first real interaction with a wide variety of personality types.
Kindergarten Prep For Your Future Kindergartner
I’m sure there’s nothing more confusing to a child to go from being home every day, playing and eating when they like and always being in familiar surroundings than entering school for the first time. To take away the anxiety caused by a sudden change in routine, do a little school prep. Be sure to visit the school while it is still in session before it lets out for the summer prior to admission. Most schools encourage visits like this. The more comfortable your child is with entering kindergarten, the easier it is on them as well. This will show your child that yes, they do have a routine, but that the kids also have fun while at school. Then, during the summer months, revisit the school to get your child comfortable with the surroundings. Explain to the principal that you would like to erase as much tension and anxiety as possible and arrange for a tour. Show him/her where the bathrooms are, the cafeteria, the recess area, the classroom.
You can talk to the teacher, or again the principal an ask what the basic routine is. During the summer months prior to entering kindergarten, follow that schedule loosely. This will get your child ready for the the kindergarten routine. Things to ask about is when is snack time, when is lunch, when is recess. Many kindergarten classes have a specific reading time as well. Wake your child around the same time they would be getting up for school if not the whole summer, than at least the last month. Have lunch around the same time as is scheduled in the school routine. This prepares your future kindergartner not just mentally but physically as well. We all have our own “body clocks”, and when we are used to waking at a certain time, and eating at a certain time, our body begins to expect it at that time. When your internal clock is disrupted it can cause sleepiness and grumpiness. Neither of those two things will help your child adjust or learn.
Help Your Future Kindergartner By Socializing Them
As I stated earlier, your child will now meet many different children. With such a diverse group of children in one place there are sure to be questions, and eve some problems with acceptance. During the summer prior to kindergarten, instead of focusing on only family activities, find activities where your child will be exposed to other children. Go to the playground, pay a visit to museums geared toward children in the city, like The Please Touch Museum. Watch your child interact as unbiased as possible. Does your child have a hard time sharing? Is your child having a hard time socializing? Is your child prone to hit or bite? In order to have a successful kindergarten prep, you need to really stand back and watch these things and correct them now, before school starts.
Your child may be apprehensive and believe that to much will be expected of them. Explain how yes, as school goes on they will indeed get more responsibilities and things will change. It is very important to let them know that that change will take place so subtly that they probably won’t eve notice until middle school. That as they mature and get older thy will have more expected of them but that no one expects them to be perfect. It is very important at this time though, without pressure, to make sure they understand that they always need to try their best. The best school prep advice is to let them know they will not be perfect and no one expects them to be. Explain to them however, how important it is to do their best. That not finishing classroom work because they are goofing off, or not turning in homework will not be tolerate ever. By starting kindergarten with these basic expectations will set the bar for later.