Give yourself a pat on the back because you made it through the newborn stage, the infant stage, the toddler tantrums, and the preschooler going on to the teenage years stage.
Those were some tough times, am I right?
But now things are about to get even more real. You are about to move away from wiping butts to erasing their incorrect homework assignments. Maybe even doing some homework yourself. Let’s face it, those science projects and craft projects are more homework for us than them.
Keep reading for more help making those homework assignments a little less dependent on you and more on our child by setting up your child for kindergarten success.
Are you ready for it?
If not then keep reading because I am sharing all the goodness I learned and witnessed from my own daughter graduating kindergarten this year. I noticed a huge change in her demeanor, confidence, and intellect. She went from being my baby to talking like a grown-up and expressing herself like never before. I’m not crying, you are.
Before we get started with the meat of this blog, I want to remind you that it’s a remarkable milestone filled with joy, growth, and learning for you as much as it is for your child. So enjoy those moments together, learn together, and grow together.
Now, let’s explore 8 valuable ways you can help prepare your child for Kindergarten success.
Visit the School:
Arrange a visit to the school before the first day– maybe in the Spring before school is out for the summer. If it’s too late for that, try to visit over the summer if the school is open and available. Explore the classrooms, playground, and other relevant areas. Meeting the prospective teacher and current principal can help build a positive connection and alleviate any fears or concerns as well.
Ask the school to provide you with a summer reading list or any other preparatory assignments your child can do over the summer to help prepare them for kindergarten readiness. If they do not have a list to provide then simply just make reading a part of your daily routine– preferably first thing in the morning before they get too tired from the day is a good idea. Choose books that focus on school, friendship, and emotions. Reading together enhances their vocabulary and comprehension skills and prepares them for the exciting world of learning.
Empower your child by encouraging them to complete age-appropriate tasks independently. Let them dress themselves, use the bathroom alone, and pack their backpack. This nurtures their confidence and prepares them for the expectations of kindergarten. I am counting down the days my kids can do their own laundry but if all they can do at 5 is dress themselves and pack their backpacks then I’ll take it.
Introduce and reinforce basic skills like recognizing their name, understanding where they live, how to locate their parent’s phone number inside their backpack, or being able to tell others what their dietary restrictions/allergies are. That last one is a huge one.
Develop Fine Motor Skills:
Engage your child in activities that promote fine motor skills, such as coloring, cutting, and drawing. These skills are crucial for tasks like writing, using scissors, and manipulating objects in the classroom setting.
Socialize with Peers:
Encourage playdates or join local groups where your child can interact with other children their age– especially if they have never gone to preschool. Through play, they’ll learn important social skills such as sharing, taking turns, showing respect, communicating with peers, and making friends, which are vital in kindergarten.
Create an open environment for effective communication. Listen actively, ask questions, and encourage your child to express their thoughts and feelings. This will help them communicate their needs and experiences with their teacher and peers. It will also help foster a healthy and engaged environment at home.
Establish a Routine:
Create a daily routine that mirrors the school schedule. Gradually adjust your child’s sleep patterns, set consistent mealtimes, and designate a space for them to engage in focused activities. A predictable routine will ease the transition to a structured school day. You can start this process about 2 weeks before school starts.
As you prepare your new Kindergartener for school, remember that every child is unique and may require different levels of support. Start small and build up to doing most if not all of these things in the weeks leading up to your child starting kindergarten.
And don’t forget about those first-day-of-school pictures. This one is a HUGE milestone you won’t want to miss Have a milestone picture? SHARE it in the comments below.
And remember, this is an emotional time in your child’s (and your) life. If you need words of encouragement to help you make it out stronger be sure to take a peek at this gem written by one of our own.