Let's Get K Ready!
Tips for Parents and Families of Rising Kindergartners
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This week's newsletter focuses on feelings and self help skills. To see all the "Let's Get K Ready!" newsletters, visit the Kindergarten Ready website home page and scroll to the bottom.
Do you anticipate tears or jubilation as your little one goes off to kindergarten in August? Perhaps a mix of trepidation and excitement is what you are feeling. If you do have feelings of anxiety, it is best to keep those to yourself. You do not want your kiddo to take on your worry. Your future kindergartner is most likely feeling a jumble of emotions just like you, and he/she may not even have the words to articulate how they are feeling.
Aim for a positive low stress transition by talking to your child about what to expect this summer. Let your child know that it is ok to be nervous. The other kids in kindergarten will be nervous too! Share all the fun things about kindergarten like books, recess, making new friends, lunch, resource classes, and all the learning that will be happening! Have small meaningful conversations a few times a week.
In addition to periodic kindergarten pep talks, here are some other things that you may want to consider in preparation for the big day:
1. Start a goodbye routine like a kiss on the forehead or a special secret handshake. Every child needs to feel secure and loved.
2. Drive by your child's school so he/she knows what the building looks like. Give your child a sense of place.
3. Practice phone numbers and street names so your child knows where he/she lives. This will give your little one confidence and security.
4. Talk about the name of the elementary school he/she will attend so he/she identifies with it. Being a "Bear" or an "Eagle" or whatever mascot your child's elementary school has will instill a sense of pride and belonging.
5. Pick out back to school items like a lunchbox and back-to-school outfit together. These items make the transition feel special!
6. Look for messaging from your school about opportunities to meet the teacher. You don't want to miss out on any opportunity to help you, your kiddo, and the teacher build a relationship.
7. Start a morning and evening routine that mimics what will be necessary when school starts. Children feel more secure when they have a routine.
8. Practice healthy sleeping habits. Children aged three to six need 10-12 hours of sleep a night.
9. Read books about kindergarten and talk about the different emotions that he/she may feel. You want your child to have the vocabulary to express what they are feeling. Check this Scholastic list for suggestions.
10. Find a bus buddy for your child if he/she will be riding the bus. This will help will any anxiety about riding to and from school and getting off at the right stop.
Kindergarten is an exciting milestone. Give your child the gift of confidence and security by talking about kindergarten in your everyday conversations. The first few weeks may hold a roller coaster of emotions, but in time, you and your little one will adjust. All those #oneCCPS kindergarten teachers will be delighted to see those fresh faces come August!