5 Tips Towards a Successful First Day of Kindergarten
Back To School. 5 Tips Towards a Smooth Transition.
As a former educator of 13 years, I have noticed what makes the first day of school successful from both the parents and the teachers. Whether it is the first day of Preschool or Kindergarten, there are a few steps that parents can do to help make the first day of school go smooth.
1. Preregister Your Kindergartener During Summer Vacation.
This will ensure that your child is placed in a Kindergarten classroom prior to the first day of school. The teacher will have your child's name on their roster before the first day. This will help the Kindergarten teacher learn your child's name prior to the first day of school.
Remember, teachers write your child's name 30 plus times before the first day of school if they are on their roster. By the time your child walks in for the first time, the teacher will be more than expecting them! Your child will also feel included by already seeing their name on a coat hook, table, folder, and much more.
2. Attend Open House.
Open House usually occurs the week prior to the first day of school. Vacation planned? Cancel it, or come back early. Attending Open House is critical for a smooth transition for the first day of school.
Open House allows your child to meet the teacher, visit the classroom, and walk the halls. Parents can also walk their child throughout the building.
At Open House, you can also calmly show some of the following:
- the bathroom
- the cafeteria
- the drop-off
- the pick-up
- the principal, refer to their name
- the vice principal, refer to their name
- the custodial staff
- the main office
- the media center
- the gym
- pick a few that you think cater's to your child's needs without overwhelming them
3. Read Books About the First Day of School.
Read books about the first day, or watch a YouTube Video that shows a positive example of children attending school. This will provide your child with visuals and help prepare them for common school procedures. A large part of Kindergarten is social interactions. "Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon" is an excellent story that demonstrates self confidence.
Here are some books and links I find to be helpful:
4. Trust that the Teacher will Explain it All.
Your confidence in the teacher will help your child feel secure as you drop them off. Refer to the teacher by name and learn the names of their classmates. Your child will enjoy feeling like you are both in this together.
Say goodbye at the door and assure your child that you will be back when the school day is over. Do not sneak out. This will cause more anxiety. Allow the teacher to gently guide your child to their seat.
Most children adjust quickly once their parents leave. If you feel anxious about this step, leave your email or phone number on a sticky note on the teacher's desk. Ask them to send you a quick message letting you know once things have calmed down.
5. Celebrate the First Day and Arrive Early.
My sister-in-law sets an excellent example of how to send your child off on their first day. She cuts a watermelon into the letter of the grade they are going into and decorates a special wooden letter for them to hold. You can see them beaming with pride!
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