Preparation is a key attribute we utilize to take away a lot of our stresses. Making sure that our children are ready for kindergarten isn’t just about our child being as ready as ever, but about proving our best efforts as a parent. Little Stars Calgary NE Daycare knows it is your child’s first day of school, yet it is also your child’s first day of school for you as a parent. As we get ready for this big day, it is important to stay positive despite our nervousness.
Remember to Talk About It
Conversations make the unknown normal for us. Begin talking to your child about kindergarten early on. Approach the conversations as if you were your child, what would you want to know? Beginning a new chapter as large as this, your child will want to know the who, what, where, when, and why to it all. When these conversations are had through the interests of your child, they will begin to familiarize themselves with the prospect of kindergarten. Eventually, these conversations will turn from learning about kindergarten to being excited about it! Let your child know about your days in kindergarten. If you can’t remember much, focus on all of the positives, why you were happy to be there, and how it turned out okay. It is okay to share your worries with having had to go to kindergarten so long as you make sure your child has the opportunity to open up about their fears.
One of the most wonderful things about children is their limitless imagination. Kindergarten at our NE Calgary programs is all about exploring the playground, trying new art activities, reading new books, and learning new foundational skills. When a child’s curiosity is fostered at home, they will fall in love with kindergarten on the first day. Research shows that it is a child’s internal desire to be curious. To promote this, try these ideas at home:
- Give your child materials to spur their creativity (art supplies, lego, sand, pots and pans, playdough).
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Read more books.
- Follow your child’s interests.
- Try new things.
Arrange a Playdate
Your child has likely never been in any form of a school before. Arrange a playdate with their kindergarten! When your child has had the opportunity to meet who their teacher is and see what their kindergarten looks like, it is not such a big, scary, unknown feat for them. Making the initial connections of where they will be learning and who their new role model will be can be stressful in itself. Once your child has some of their firsts taken away from their first day of kindergarten, other firsts will be much more manageable.
Diversify Your Child’s Experiences
Kindergarten is more comfortable when your child has already experienced parts of life that are not directly related to their parents. Enrol them in junior kindergarten, have them take swimming or dance lessons, join an art class, go to storytime at your local library. By having these experiences, your child will be familiarized with depending on someone other than their parents. When they get to kindergarten, relying on their teacher and the adults around them won’t feel like such a scary thing.
Your ABC’s and 123’s of Kindergarten
We always want to best prepare our children for everything, especially when kindergarten marks one of the first times they will become independent and take care of themselves for the day away from home. Parents can feel more at ease knowing that their children are entering kindergarten with the skills that will put them ahead. Don’t forget that there should be things already taught to your child before entering kindergarten, including being able to:
- Write their first name with upper and lower case letters.
- Count to ten.
- Use scissors, paint, glue, glitter, and other art materials to create crafts.
- Know their bathroom needs.
- Follow directions.
- Grip a writing tool correctly (with the thumb and forefinger supporting the tip).
- Get dressed.
- Clean up after themselves.
- Speak using complete sentences.
- Respect others.
- Listen without interrupting.
There is no fool-proof way to avoid all the stresses of kindergarten. We all have or will enter kindergarten and it should be a milestone celebrated. Kindergarten is not such a frightful thing so long as your child feels safe, supported, and excited! Put on a happy face and create a special goodbye for your child to feel good about. Little Stars Calgary NE Daycare provides the intimate setting of focused classrooms where learning is cultivated as much as your child’s love for kindergarten. Feel free to contact us for a tour!