Kindergarten. Y’all…it seems SO hard to believe that my baby is heading off to Kindergarten in just a few very short days. I just don’t know how this happened. One day they’re this tiny little baby, and then you blink and they’re heading off to big kid school.
As sad as it may be for me, I know Leighton is SO excited to be going off to Kindergarten this year. But, even with the excitement, comes nervousness and worries. If your kiddos are anything like mine, they’ve had lots of questions about what their teacher will be like, what the other kids in class will be like, how their days will go, etc. She’s had a million questions on these exact things. And honestly I can’t answer a single one of them since I don’t even know yet.
But today, I thought I would share with you some of the things we’ve been doing to help ease some of her worries and nerves (and mine too!) about attending Kindergarten, and help her feel super prepared for her first day.
5 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten
1) Talk to your child about what to expect.
This may be easier said than done, and I totally get that. However, I think it’s important that we try to give them at least some idea of what they can expect from their first day. See if you can get in touch with their teach via email, and find out if there is a daily routine. Or, at the very least, find out from their teacher what they can expect on the first day. This will keep your little one “in the know” and help them feel less nervous about going into a brand new situation. We won’t know Leighton’s teacher until later this week, but once we do I am going to let them virtually connect to meet each other and ask some questions. Your school’s website is also a great resource!
2) Establish routines at home.
Many schools help their students thrive by creating daily routines and habits. Routines help kids feel safe and somewhat in control of the world around them. It’s really helpful for kids to have this at home as well to make the transition a little smoother. From morning routines to bedtime routines and everything in between, create a strong routine and try your best to stick with it every day. We do this year round, whether or not she is in school so she is always used to her bedtime and wake up time.
3) Read books about going to school.
There are loads of books about heading off to school for the first time. Many of these books even talk about how a child can feel nervous or even scared and how they can cope with those feelings. Some of our favorites are First Day Jitters, The Night Before Kindergarten, and Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten. There are SO many great books that help kids feel ready for their first day. Leighton has loved reading these to help her feel prepared!
4) Encourage and instill self-confidence in your child before the first day.
Teach your little ones to speak up for themselves when they need something or have a question, to engage with other kids in class, and to speak when spoken to by an adult. These are all super important skills that your kids should know. A lot of independence comes with going to school for the first time. This can be overwhelming and scary at times, but instilling these skills in your child now will help them feel confident when the time comes on the first day.
5) Don’t forget that this is a big deal for you too, mama!
It’s crucial to remember that this isn’t just your child’s first day of Kindergarten, it’s yours too. Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, and you’ve got other kids you’ve sent to school before now, letting your kids go can be hard no matter what. You’re going to be dealing with a lot of changes too and giving yourself time to process that and find ways to cope through that is just as important as helping your child cope through it!
If you’re like me, you’re feeling nervous and excited for your little one to head off to Kindergarten. But, there’s a lot you can do to prepare both your child and yourself! I hope these tips have been helpful for y’all!
What are your best tips and ideas for preparing your kids for Kindergarten? I’d love to know!