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5 Back to School Tips for Kindergarten Parents

Published 3 months ago by Alexis Alexander

The golden days of summer are upon us and many parents are looking ahead to a new school year. If your children are returning to school, you know what’s ahead and likely have a plan - but if this is your child’s first year, you may both be feeling a bit anxious! Here are some tips to help make the transition easier on the whole family.

1. Practice independent skills

Many parents worry about their kids being able to write their name or recognize all the letters of the alphabet before starting school when really, there will be plenty of time for them to learn everything they need. Instead of focusing on academic skills, practice the practical. Your child’s kindergarten experience will be easier if they have shoes they can put on and take off independently and a lunchbox they can open and shut without help. They should also be able to use the washroom without help, so make sure they wear pants that come on and off easily (no complicated buttons or ties). Remind them to flush and wash their hands before heading out to play!

2. Visit the school playground

If your child’s school has a playground, consider spending an hour there this weekend so they can get better acquainted with the layout. If you’ll be walking to school, practice your route a few times before school starts! This isn’t so much about needing actual practice as it is about making your child comfortable and building a routine.

3. Help set expectations

If your child attended preschool or daycare, they’ll likely be familiar with classroom routines. If they haven’t been in a classroom setting, consider teaching them the basics: we listen to our teacher, raise our hand to speak in circle, we share with friends, we will get to play outside at recess, we will eat lunch at a table with our classmates, we will stay at school until Mommy, Daddy or another caregiver arrives at 3pm. Your school may have a daily schedule on their website, which is a great resource! Other schools may have sent a KG orientation package home, which is even better.

4. Have a strategy for big feelings

If you worry about your child getting upset, scared, sad or angry (as children often do!), try giving them some tools to cope with these feelings. For example, deep breathing or using their words to express their emotions. Advise them to talk to their teacher if they are having ‘big feelings’ and to share their feelings at home with you later! To get them talking, consider asking specific but gentle questions such as, “Did you make any art/sing any songs today?”, “Did you feel sad or nervous at any point today?”, “What do you like about your teacher?” and “What do you hope you can do at school tomorrow?”

5. Get some books to help prepare your child for school

My Cool New School is a great read for kindergarten families, and it also makes the perfect classroom gift for your favourite teacher! If you order now, you should have it in time for the first day of school.

Thanks for reading, and here’s to a wonderful 2019-2020 school year!

The golden days of summer are upon us and many parents are looking ahead to a new school year. If your children are returning to school, you know what’s ahead and likely have a plan - but if this is your child’s first year, you may both be feeling a bit anxious! Here are some tips to help make the transition easier on the whole family.

1. Practice independent skills

Many parents worry about their kids being able to write their name or recognize all the letters of the alphabet before starting school when really, there will be plenty of time for them to learn everything they need. Instead of focusing on academic skills, practice the practical. Your child’s kindergarten experience will be easier if they have shoes they can put on and take off independently and a lunchbox they can open and shut without help. They should also be able to use the washroom without help, so make sure they wear pants that come on and off easily (no complicated buttons or ties). Remind them to flush and wash their hands before heading out to play!

2. Visit the school playground

If your child’s school has a playground, consider spending an hour there this weekend so they can get better acquainted with the layout. If you’ll be walking to school, practice your route a few times before school starts! This isn’t so much about needing actual practice as it is about making your child comfortable and building a routine.

3. Help set expectations

If your child attended preschool or daycare, they’ll likely be familiar with classroom routines. If they haven’t been in a classroom setting, consider teaching them the basics: we listen to our teacher, raise our hand to speak in circle, we share with friends, we will get to play outside at recess, we will eat lunch at a table with our classmates, we will stay at school until Mommy, Daddy or another caregiver arrives at 3pm. Your school may have a daily schedule on their website, which is a great resource! Other schools may have sent a KG orientation package home, which is even better.

4. Have a strategy for big feelings

If you worry about your child getting upset, scared, sad or angry (as children often do!), try giving them some tools to cope with these feelings. For example, deep breathing or using their words to express their emotions. Advise them to talk to their teacher if they are having ‘big feelings’ and to share their feelings at home with you later! To get them talking, consider asking specific but gentle questions such as, “Did you make any art/sing any songs today?”, “Did you feel sad or nervous at any point today?”, “What do you like about your teacher?” and “What do you hope you can do at school tomorrow?”

5. Get some books to help prepare your child for school

My Cool New School is a great read for kindergarten families, and it also makes the perfect classroom gift for your favourite teacher! If you order now, you should have it in time for the first day of school.

Thanks for reading, and here’s to a wonderful 2019-2020 school year!