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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tips for the First Time Kindergarteners

Do you have a kiddo going into kindergarten?

 Is this you first experience in the public school?

Below you will find tips and links to help you make the first day of school a SUCCESS! First and foremost remember... this is your child's first day of school. You want this experience to be remember as a positive one. Kids are very resilient. Many times we are more worried about the unknown than they are.

On the first day of school, plan on dropping your child off in the designated area. A quick kiss and hug good-bye. Then, mom and dad need to go. If your child is upset or crying, I promise you staying only prolongs the process. 9 out of 10 times the child stops crying as soon as mom and dad are gone.

Secondly, make your child's lunch and pack a HUGE snack. Packing a familiar lunch makes your child feel safe. Going through the cafeteria line to purchase lunch the first time is scary for a child. The child is so afraid that they will go hungry. At five, this is a big deal. Also, consider writing a love note on your child's napkin. This will bring a smile to your child's face in such a new and exciting environment.

Next, be consistent with dismissal. Many parents want to pick their child up from school the first week. In the long run, this is very stressful on the child. Just when your child begins to know the routines of school and feel comfortable, it not wise to switch things up on them. So... if your child is attending a day care, have your child go to day care starting the first day of school. You could be at the day care center ready and waiting to pick him/her up when they arrive.

Finally, pack a thin sweater or jacket as well as a change of clothing. Many classrooms are a bit chilly... even in the hot Texas weather. As for the change of clothing, it's just better to play it safe. Even those kiddos that haven't had an accident in years have been known to slip up under stress. Place the clothes in a large zip lock baggie. This gives your child a safe place to put any wet clothing and keeps the backpack from getting soiled.

If you follow the above suggestions, your child should have a fun and exciting start to his/her school career.

2 Things to Note:

*If you fear your child, may need a reminder from home to help with transitioning into school life, send a small family photo. I have found that looking at the photo helps tremendously at easing unnecessary worry.

* Many schools have a "Tears and Tea" in the library. If you are wanting to meet other kindergarten parents that feel just as worried and unsure as you, stop on by. There will be plenty of tissues and you might just make a new friend.

Helpful Sites:

Buggie Bungalow: my classroom blog

Buzzing Into Kindergarten: What My Little One Should Know

Pre-Writing Skills for Children Under Five

Star Fall: everything from learning the alphabet to actual reading

How to Hold a Pencil

Spinner the Spider: letter formation: trace letters using the mouse

Preschool Playground: a place to find tons of online games

Picadome Math: tons of basic math games by skill

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