My "big girl" is starting school next week. We have gone to her school and met some of the teachers, the principal, and done a little tour. Despite being told multiple times we were just there to finalize paperwork, she insisted on packing her backpack, bringing a snack, and was disappointed when we left her school after a half hour. While my sweet, eager little girl is only attending preschool for the first time, it got me thinking of how actual school isn't that far off. Her planning declarations to neighbourhood kids that "I'm going to a new school!" and requests to be at school before it starts has our whole family excited. The person especially proud? My recently retired, elementary school principal mom. "The secretaries used to joke that I could sense a kindergarten registration from a mile away because I'd jump out of my office to greet them." Though our little girl is not starting elementary school yet (her preschool is in an elementary school), I wanted to ask my mom, who has nearly 40 years of experience, what she recommends parents do to make their child's transition into kindergarten as smooth and successful as possible.
Here are 10 Do's and Don't's for a smooth and successful transition into kindergarten from a principal (and mom)!
10 Do's and Don't's For A Successful Start To Kindergarten
In the last week or so leading up to the first day of school, DO establish and maintain a regular routine in your household. School is a big change and predictability will help your child feel secure leading up to such a big milestone.
DO tour the school with your child and take pictures. Once home, you can create a short story or simply refer back to them and explain which one is the classroom, point out where certain things are (i.e. the bathroom, the kitchen centre, the tables where they will eat their snack, the cloakroom, etc.).
DO instill in your child a sense of identity. Their full name, age, who their mommy and daddy are, who their siblings are all examples of things that they may be asked or may help them feel a sense of who they are when meeting so many new people at once.