It’s almost that time of year again. The end of summer always comes too quickly… Fall can come as quite a surprise when your children are getting ready to make the transition to Kindergarten and full time school for the first time.
The summer before we sent R to Kindergarten I was nervous. I was anxious about him starting school, making new friends and getting into a routine. I remember googling all kinds of questions about how to make the transition to kindergarten easier on both him and us.
Going to a new school is difficult for everyone especially if you’re a child that likes routine and is happy in your current school.
There are a few things we did to help him with the transition to Kindergarten and I hope these suggestions can help your children as well.
Ways to Make the Transition to Kindergarten Easier for Your Child
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Start Preparing Your Child Early
We started talking to R about his new school very early on so that he’d get comfortable with the change. We asked our family to get excited about the transition to Kindergarten as well. All of this exuberance built a bit of “hype” around the idea so that he would look forward to the first day.
Excitement and enthusiasm are contagious. All the fuss we were making rubbed off on R and he got excited to start in his new school.
Get Your Child Familiar with the New School
The spring before R started Kindergarten his school hosted a number of events so that the little ones could become more familiar with their new surroundings in a stress free way.
A few months before Kindergarten started, we took R to his new school for an orientation. That morning, the kids and parents were given a tour of the school and the Kindergarten classrooms. After our tour, R went into one of the classrooms and was paired up with a current student who showed him around the class. Once the incoming students were comfortable, the parents were asked to go into the auditorium and let the little ones have a chance to familiarize themselves with the classrooms.
R really enjoyed this experience. He loved playing with the new toys and the older kids. He started off with us, but then was comfortable enough on his own to hang out in the class without us there.
If your school offers a similar program you should definitely take your child. The more familiar your child can become with his or her surroundings before starting school the better.
As a side note, it is very cute to see 5 year old kids mentor 4 year olds. It’s also a great experience for the 5 year old children. R was a mentor this year and told us all about how much fun it was.
We also found out about a summer camp that runs out of R’s school. To get him comfortable in the building and learn his way around, we enrolled him in the summer camp for the month before school started.
By attending camp in his new school, R became accustomed to the layout, the classrooms and all of the facilities (plus he had a great time at camp!).