The upcoming school year is just around the corner. For many students a new school year has become a routine event. For kindergarten students and their parents, the new school year is chocked full of many unknowns. Add a dose of anxiety, and you have a recipe for a stressful first day. It doesn’t have to be this way.
There are many ways to prepare for your child’s first day of school to ensure everything goes smoothly. First, every school has a kindergarten readiness checklist. These checklists have very straightforward information about where your child should be before entering elementary school:
- Recognize and name basic shapes: square, circle, triangle, and rectangle
- Recognize and name numbers 1-10, even when they are out of order
- Count to 20
- Count 10 objects, pointing to each one as she counts
- Say or sing the alphabet
- Recognize the letters of the alphabet, both uppercase and lowercase (even out of order)
- Identify colors in an 8-ct crayon pack
- Recognize her first name
- Write her first name
- Sort items by size, color, or shape
- Hold a book and turn pages
- Tell if two words rhyme
- Identify some letter sounds
If your child has some difficulty performing anything on the above checklist, don’t beat yourself up about it. Work with them before school starts and identify anything they struggle with. Let the teacher know what your child finds challenging as soon as the first week of school. This will help the teacher better assist them with overcoming anything they find trying. Also, now that your child will be in a classroom with other children, the power of learning with others will have an impact.
Make sure you have all the tools needed for your child to succeed. Most schools have a recommended supply checklist. You will definitely need to pick up basic school supplies, such as pencils, paper, art supplies, a backpack, and lunch box. Most of these supplies can be picked up at your local store, and the majority of the kids in the classroom will have the exact same items. One item that will be special and unique to your child is their backpack. Kindergartners are often too little for a traditional backpack. It is smart to get them an appropriate-sized bag that they can carry by themselves. Backpacks designed for kindergarteners are slightly smaller and lighter than a “big kids” version. They come in fun designs, and have multiple compartments to store lunch and school supplies. Additionally, they can be used to pack for overnight stays away from home.
Kindergarten-aged kids may have a tendency to wander. A mini backpack has a durable and detachable tether leash that is 43.30” long. This allows your child to run and play, while also keeping them secure and safe at all times. These backpacks are perfect for playtime at the park, or an outing in public. If your child is not familiar with wearing a backpack, the mini is a great introductory bag for them.
Lastly, make sure your child knows and practices proper bathroom etiquette. Kindergarten may be the first place your child will use the bathroom on their own. Practice effective wiping, flushing of the toilet, and hand washing, at home before their first day. Keeping an extra pair of underwear and bottoms in your child’s backpack may be a good idea in the event of an accident.
Preparing your child with the tools they need to succeed is key to a good start to their education. Kindergarten is fun, not scary. Odds are your kid is excited and ready to get on that yellow bus. You, on the other hand, may not be ready to see them become such a big kid. Don’t worry, both of you will survive and thrive.