Kindergarten can be quite an adjustment, for both parents and children. Starting school six-hours a day, five days a week can be tough to get used to, especially for four and five year olds.
Two years ago my son started Kindergarten and this year my daughter starts. I learned a few things the first time around and I thought I’d share some thoughts to make the transition easier.
1. If you haven’t already, start talking about kindergarten. Talk to your child about how they will get to make new friends, get to play, paint, learn, all the other fun things that will get them excited to go.
2. Let them help pick some new things out for school themselves so they are excited to use them, like a backpack, lunch box or inside shoes.
3. Get them to choose some of their favorite snacks so they can have something to look forward to and enjoy when they open their lunch box at school.
4. Be prepared for the kids to be tired and overwhelmed for the first little while when they come home from school. It’s only natural after such a long day. It’s a nice idea to do quiet things together after school like reading, playing board games or even a bubble bath. Everyone will eventually adjust, it’ll just take some time.
5. Give the children an early bedtime to make sure they are well-rested for each day of school. It may not leave a lot of time between the end of school and bedtime but it’ll really help to avoid meltdowns and get through the next day.
6. And finally, for the first little while, don’t enrol them in too many activities (if any) after school. It’s a big step starting full time school, so give them so time to settle in before getting into all the extra curricular’s.
Keep in mind, it’s an adjustment period for parents too. You may feel a bit overwhelmed and feel a little sense of loss without having your child around but again, it’ll take some time and before you know it, all will be okay.