It’s that time of year again – getting the kids back to school. For some families, this is a time of celebration that Summer is over, parents can get their schedules back and kids can see their friends again. For other families, it’s a time of sadness – their baby is growing up, how did Summer go so fast, and how many school supplies do I have to buy? For most families, though, it’s a combination of the two.
For children coming out of preschool and moving into Kindergarten, it can be a very difficult time. Dealing with so much change and excitement in their lives can be overwhelming to little 5 year olds, and their parents. So here are some Kindergarten tips for parents & students to help weather the storm of back to school together, and without too many boo hoo’s. And we’re so proud of all our Celebree graduates!! Stay in touch!
Take a Tour
For many students, it is the fear of the unknown that is most intimidating to them. Many schools have a visit day in the Spring to help incoming Kindergartners with their transition. This is a great opportunity for them to see the classroom, know what their new environment is like and to see who their teacher might be. If you’re entering a school that doesn’t offer a Spring visit day, call them and ask if you could bring your child over for a 20 minute visit so they can still get the experience. While it may not be as structured, it still helps to quell some of the nerves.
Make a Friend
Everybody needs a friend. If your child knows someone who will be in their class, make sure to get together with them in the two weeks before school starts. If you don’t know anyone off hand, work your network and see if there’s anyone who knows someone who will be in your class. If you’re not having success with that or are new to the area, call the school and ask them if they could connect you with a family of someone in your child’s class. They will likely have some families who have been at the school for awhile who they will know they can contact on your behalf. For a 5 year old, seeing a familiar face that first day will greatly lessen the nervousness.
Often times when our little ones are about to start Kindergarten, we’re really busy talking it up to get them excited (and try to keep ourselves from crying). But don’t forget to listen to them. Talk the night before and try to get them to share their feelings and what they think the day might be like. What are they excited for? What makes them nervous or uncomfortable? You’ll have to ask a lot of questions, and sometimes the same questions in different ways, but it will help them if you can get them talking.
On the morning of the first day of school, be sure to listen as well. If your child is battling you about breakfast, respect that. We all want to send our kids off to school with a full tummy. But on that first day, nerves can overcome and we don’t want them being sick to their stomach. Better to go a little empty than have a moment that won’t be forgotten, for all the wrong reasons.
Kids will look to their parents for direction on how to perceive a situation. If their parents are sobbing, the child might become scared and think that school is a bad place. So be strong and hold it in. You can always sit in the car for 10 minutes after drop off and weep with joy and sorrow.
Lean on your friends
Parents need friends too. So find some friends to start a great tradition with – gather people together for a breakfast to celebrate the new year. If that’s too much, grab your best friend and take a walk. Share your feelings with someone you trust. Letting them out will make you feel much better, and allow you to clear the way for your genuine happiness for your child.
All milestones deserve to be celebrated, and the first day of school is no different. Whether it’s the first day of Kindergarten or Senior year of high school, celebrate with your child and your family. There are only so many first days of school, make them all special.
Let us know how your first days of school go this year.