Feb. 13, 2017

Your little learner can kiss those wistful half-days away as they trade in their preschool play routine for structured lessons, and a day jam-packed with learning the fundamental skills needed to succeed in their entire educational career! It’s no wonder why starting school can be nerve-racking for kids and parents alike. 

Fortunately, there are many ways to ready your soon-to-be “big kid” for his or her school debut. Make sure your kids are ready for the following: 

Following Rules and Effective Communication

Raising hands to speak, lining up single file, and following teacher rules are all typical of a kindergartener’s day. If your child stayed at home with a caregiver, they might not realize the sheer number of rules and procedures they’re about to face when they first enter the classroom. 

Be sure to speak with your child to give them an idea of what to expect, and help them to understand that they should always feel comfortable asking their teacher for help by asking questions. 

ABC’s and 123’s

Don’t ignore the basics! Kindergarteners will be expected to begin reading and writing words and simple sentences by the end of the school year, if not sooner. Your child will need to have mastered their alphabet and numbers (at least to 20) before they enter school.

A great way to build some basic skills is through educational preschool apps. Kids love to use technology to play games, making learning games a great choice. Additionally, there are a plethora of online resources, such as printable alphabet worksheets, that can be printed for free. A small time investment now can make for huge learning strides later. 

Bathroom Basics

Even in preschool, your child was probably assisted by a teacher to a bathroom that may have been connected to the classroom. Kindergarten might very well be the first time your little one will need to use the restroom all by themselves!

Make sure your little learner is ready for this, and let them know that even though the class will take bathroom breaks throughout the day, they can ask to go whenever they need.

Lunch Limitations

At home, your child has some flexibility with mealtimes. Perhaps they aren’t limited to a small amount of time, or maybe you help them unwrap snacks. Make sure you plan your child’s lunch wisely, packing only foods that are both portable and easy to handle and unwrap.

Don’t forget that mealtimes usually aren’t timed at home, but at school they might have just thirty minutes to chow down before it’s back to work. 

Cutting & Pasting

As adults, we take these motor skills for granted, but kids must develop the skill to properly hold scissors, and cut along a line. Likewise, your child will need to learn to use glue to paste paper and objects together.

Also, don’t forget about proper pencil and crayon grip! Work on these essential motor skills early, and your house will be adorned with cotton ball and macaroni artwork in no time! 

Big Yellow School Bus

Stepping foot on that school bus for the first time is different than an early morning drop-off to daycare or preschool. A kindergartener must for the first time become independent as they get on that bus alone, while they’re whisked away from parents and off to school.

This can be scary for some kids, so make sure they know that you’ll be there waiting for them when the school bus arrives back at home, and encourage them to be excited for their new-found independence. 

Bottom Line

For kids, starting school is just the beginning of a journey that will last well into young adulthood. By supporting their successful transition into this exciting new part of their lives, you will lay a foundation for life-long learning of a spirited child!