The shift from preschool to kindergarten is a big milestone for any child. This huge step will be full of excitement, but it is also a time of new beginnings and routines. In the spirit of National Kindergarten Day, we asked three parents to share their secrets to success while their children were in kindergarten:
- Your routine will change. Kindergarten means longer days for your child (and for you!), so sticking to a regular home schedule is more important than ever. “Your kids will get tired. Make sure they are rested, fed and ready to go in the morning. Also, get lots of sleep – both you and your child!” says Eric, dad of three.
- Homework is hard. “Getting used to homework is just as hard for the parents as it is for the kids,” says Joanna, mom of two. Work time into your schedule each day to review your child’s classroom assignments and take-home work.
- Don’t play the comparison game. You’ll see a wide range of academic skills within your child’s kindergarten classroom, especially when it comes to reading and writing. “Don’t panic because your kid is not the Mozart of reading or math – it will come with time!” says Eric.
- Get ready to read. “It’s both a heartwarming joy and a struggle to practice reading for 20 minutes each night with a new reader. Find a comfy spot, put down your phone and meditate,” says Joanna. Keep in mind the many benefits of reading to your child and learn to cherish this special part of your new routine!
- Get their backpack ready. Find out what your child needs in the classroom and take daily inventory of their bag for supplies, artwork or assignments. “Also, remembering library books is key,” says Joanna.
- You may worry. Sending your child off to kindergarten is no small emotional feat. They’ll be exposed to a variety of new situations and challenges, but they will also have many triumphs as they learn and grow. Be intentional about getting to know your child’s teacher to help ease your mind.
- You will also make priceless memories. The social and academic growth that children experience in kindergarten is remarkable to see. You’ll never forget watching your child achieve both personal and academic milestones. “For me, watching his reading skills develop was amazing,” says Christina, mom of one. “He went from reading a book with one or two words to reading chapter books by the end of kindergarten – it was so rewarding!”
The transition to kindergarten will be full of surprises, but it will also be full of excitement! For more information about what to expect when your child starts school, check out this blog post.