Getting Parents Ready for Kindergarten
Child development experts say moving from preschool to kindergarten is one of the most significant transitions young children will experience. The angst is not limited to children, but also parents, who similarly must deal with significant change.
Here are a few things parents can expect during the transition and ways they can help their children cope, according to experts:
During uncertain times, children may act out and cling to parents. To help them through this period, parents should begin talking about kindergarten a few months prior to starting school.
They should answer questions and let their kids know it’s OK to be scared and excited at the same time.
Many schools have a day where families can visit and become familiar with teachers, classrooms and school policies. Parents should take advantage of this; it can also provide opportunities to meet future classmates and their parents.
During the first few days of school, children may experience separation anxiety, particularly at drop off. Parents should be positive and provide reassurance that all will be fine, then leave. If this continues for a long period of time, they should meet with the teacher and discuss a transition plan.
If possible, parents should occasionally volunteer in the classroom. This allows them to develop a relationship with the childs teacher and classmates and get firsthand exposure to the classroom and routine.
Kindergarten and beyond
Additional ways parents can help kindergarteners during the transition and support learning in the classroom:
• Develop a routine, including a set mealtime and bedtime.
• Check backpacks daily. Teachers and schools primarily communicate with parents through notes and fliers.
• Read books at home, review letters, numbers, counting, and other classroom activities.
• Limit television and videogame time.
• Arrange play dates with new friends from school. By strengthening social bonds with classmates, children build a sense of familiarity and comfort level in school.
Also, First 5 LA’s Family Guide, Ready to Learn Summer issue includes ready-for-school information and a year-by-year guide to abilities and skills a child should have to be prepared for kindergarten.
Related Topics: Ready for School
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