back to school

Going to kindergarten is a huge step for parents and children alike. If you’re getting ready to send your first little one to school, there are a few basic steps you can take to encourage a bit of kindergarten preparedness. Each of the methods below will make your child feel a little more comfortable with the concept of going to a new school.

  1. Start Working on a Schedule

One of the hardest parts of adjusting to school is getting on a regular schedule. Your child probably has a routine in place already, but that’s going to have to be adjusted when school begins. Instead of throwing your child into the deep end, get him or her used to being on a schedule. Have him or her wake up when he or she would have to wake up for school and start scheduling things like lunch or naps around the same time they would occur at school.

2. Socialize

It’s always easier to start a new activity with a friend. If you know anyone who is going to have a child at your child’s school, make sure to introduce them during the summer. This child doesn’t need to be in the same class or even the same grade, but his or her presence at school can help make your child feel like he or she belongs there.

3. Talk About Expectations

Going into a new school can be overwhelming, so make sure your child knows what’s expected of him or her. Your other early childhood education experiences will help here, so don’t be afraid to compare kindergarten to a pre-K classroom. Talk about what the teacher will expect from your child in terms of behavior and work. A little preparation really can go a very long way.

4. Work on Small Skills

While there are plenty of milestones you’ll want to hit in terms of early childhood education before your child goes to kindergarten, it’s also a great idea to start working on the small things. Make sure your child can handle his or her own zippers and buttons, that he or she knows how to stand in a line, and even that he or she can tie his or her shoes. This part of kindergarten preparedness is often overlooked, but it can have a huge impact on your child.

5. Start a Countdown

Above all else, it’s a great idea to make going to school something that’s worth celebrating. You might want to start a countdown that celebrates specific milestones on the way to the big day. This countdown can also be very useful for getting certain tasks done – at ten days before, you institute a new bedtime, and at five before you might go shopping for supplies. This countdown can make going to school seem a little less scary.

Don’t expect perfection during the early days of class. Instead, focus on helping your child to adjust. With a little effort, both of you can have a great first year of school.

This article is brought to you by IvyBrook Academy in Franklin, offering a hands-on, discovery-based approach to learning. IvyBrook Academy, located at 1268 Lewisburg Pike, is a half-day preschool for children ages 2-5.

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