Read our monthly parenting e-newsletter for July 2022, featuring tips and strategies for families with young children.
Everything I really need to know in life, I learned in kindergarten–or at least that’s what Robert Fulghum proposed in his book of the same name!Beginning kindergarten is a huge milestone for both children and parents. But making the transition to kindergarten can also be challenging and comes with a mix of big emotions: Fear, sadness, anxiety, happiness, pride.
Before you know it, the first day of school will be here. To help you and your child prepare, here are some suggestions to help make a successful transition for both you and your child over the summer months.
- Help your child grow independence at home. Encourage your child to dress himself, take his coat on and off and hang it up, use the bathroom without assistance and wash his hands without constant reminders, and put on his own shoes. Provide serving spoons so your child can serve himself at the table and clear his own dishes. These skills will take him from the coatroom to the lunchroom and beyond.
- Focus on self-help skills. Your child should know how to wipe her face after lunch without prompting and blow her nose without assistance. However, be sure she is also comfortable asking an adult for help when necessary.
- Develop and follow routines. Set up morning routines that will transfer into a school setting. Getting up around the same time every day, getting dressed, and having an early breakfast together is a great way to transition to school.
- Read aloud to your child. Get your child a library card, take her to the library to check out books, and be sure to read to your child every day. Read a variety of books, read the captions under pictures in the newspaper, even share the comics. Just read!
- Recognize feelings. Avoid talking about school too much, or wait until the end of summer is near. Your child may express being nervous, not wanting to go or, alternately, feeling very excited to start school. Whatever they feel, take time to appreciate where they are.
Summer will soon be fading and the first day of school will be here. Don’t forget to enjoy it. Watching your child learn and grow is the best!
Here are some additional resources:
- A Reminder of How Great Kindergarten Is Going to Be, via Sesame Street
- Kindergarten Club at Miamisburg Metro Library
- Back-2-School Bash, via Solid Rock Church
- School Readiness Resources, via NAEYC
- How to Get Your Children Ready for the First Day of Kindergarten via Johns Hopkins Medicine