Because kindergarten is the beginning of official education for many children and will often be the start of a new routine, children and parents need to prepare. For some children kindergarten will be the first time they are separated from a parent or home environment for such an extended period each day.
Parents can lay a solid foundation by preparing the year before the student is to begin school.
If your child has no siblings or is the oldest and first to attend school, this experience can be overwhelming. Children with older siblings who are in school usually have had more exposure to the routine and expectations. They see their older brothers or sisters return each day none worse for the wear! However, depending on the older sibling’s attitude toward school this can also be an obstacle.
Visit the school with your child before the first day. If possible meet the teacher and introduce your child. You will want to collect the following information from the school:
- Enrollment forms and requirements including medical records, immunizations, documentation, and emergency numbers
- Transportation information (bus routes and schedules, drop off and pick up times and location)
- Meal arrangements
- Registration dates and a school year calendar
- After school programs
- Contact information of other staff members, the principal, other parents
Preparing your child for learning in kindergarten is also important. Help your child learn:
- the alphabet
- learn the letters of his or her name
- write letters
- count to 10 or 20
- to memorize your address
- to memorize your phone number
- how to make the sounds of letters
- how to hold books right side up and identify pictures
Reading to your child each day will help develop reading skills. Read your child’s favorite books and talk about the stories and the characters. Ask your child what is happening in the pictures. Preparing your child for learning includes developing enthusiasm for school. Getting a child started on the right foot with the skills they need and a level of comfort about school and excitement for learning can develop attitudes and habits that will carry him or her through their education.
by David McLeod
Owner School-Supply-List.com and Elementary School Teacher
David has been teaching elementary school in Central Texas for over 7 years and has over 15 years of experience in online education related websites and blogs.