How to prepare for the big day.
We asked our resident kindergarten teacher, Kim, to let us know the teacher's perspective on going back to school.
Starting school after summer vacation is a huge adjustment for little ones. Before school begins, start to set up new routines for your child (+ yourself). Start bedtime a little earlier, make a plan for getting ready for school in the morning + getting out the door on time each day. School is a long day, especially for the young ones, so starting an earlier bed time now will help your child rest up for their big day.
In order for your child to succeed to the best of their ability, they need to be comfortable! Make sure their school clothing is not too tight, too big or too difficult for them to button, snap or zip on their own. Allow them to pick out some of their own outfits to boost their self confidence + show their individuality! Check the weather each day to make sure your child is dressed appropriately with layers they can take off or put on.
Unless your child knows how to tie their shoes, slip on or Velcro shoes are best. Shoes like Toms are a great pick because not only are they stylish, but they also are easy for children to put on themselves + have treads for the playground!
Lunch & Snack
The first few days or weeks of school, your child may come home without eating any of their lunch – but have no fear! The cafeteria is new + overwhelming for most children. They want to be social with their friends + take in what is going on around them. The newness will wear off quickly + their hungry bellies will take over. To insure that your child is eating at school, allow them to pick out some of the foods for their lunch + snack. Pack your child's food in containers that they can open on their own + don't forget to pack a fork or spoon when it's needed! They need brain power to keep them going throughout the day so consider packing foods that will give them that – fruits, veggies, yogurt, cheese + nuts!
Reading at Home
A child's success as a reader begins much earlier than the first day of school. Whether your child's school has homework or not – make reading an essential part of your nightly routine. Read aloud to your child each night + soon they may begin to start reading to you! While you're reading, engage them – make predictions about the book, talk about how the characters are feeling, discuss a favorite part + go ahead + read your child's favorite book for the 100th time!
How was school today? What did you do today?
Have you ever asked these questions + gotten the response "good" + "I don't remember"? These answers leave you wondering + wanting more! Try asking your child specific questions about the school day like "What did you do in music class?" or "Tell me about a new friend you made today or "Tell me one thing you learned today." Asking your child specific questions will allow them to focus on one part at a time + allow you to have more of a conversation with your child.
We know we can't take away all your fears about your child's first day of school, but hopefully this is helpful as you start to prepare for the big day.