As a parent, sending your child off to kindergarten is an important milestone, but one that can seem extremely intimidating. The process can also seem scary to your child, who might worry about friends, finding the bathroom, or who their teacher will be. While it’s not possible to completely get rid of all pre-kindergarten jitters, there are some ways to help your child get ready for kindergarten and successfully transition from preschool.
Every parent wants their children to have a positive view of education, and often that view can start as early as kindergarten. One way to start them off well in kindergarten is to become familiar with the school, classroom, and teacher. Most kindergartens will allow potential students to visit, understanding that such young students (and their parents) need to feel secure and comfortable with a place before they enroll.
Spending some time in a kindergarten classroom can definitely help a child feel more comfortable and transition from preschool but so can doing kindergarten activities. You might have to explain to your child what a day in kindergarten will look like and feel like and practice with them. A sibling or friend who has recently gone through kindergarten can be a big help in this. The more knowledge you and your child have about what to expect in kindergarten, the less nervous everyone will end up being.
Asking the kindergarten teacher about their classroom rules and procedures will aid with transitioning from preschool. Helping your child learn to raise his or her hand, ask before getting up from a chair, or anything else that might be part of the culture in the kindergarten classroom can help you and your child practice so that it does not feel like a shock at the beginning of the school year. If you are unable to visit your child’s kindergarten class, visit the campus and spend some time playing on the playground. Even this small level of exploration will help you child feel more comfortable on her first day. Of course, just being in preschool will help your child greatly when it is time to transition to kindergarten. Children who have been through preschool are much more likely to excel at and enjoy kindergarten than those who have not had that preparation.