There are many worries that children may have before they enter kindergarten. Even if your child has been in daycare, Kindergarten is new and may cause some anxiety. However, there are some steps you can take at home to help prepare your child (and you) for this next big step.
In general, talking to your child at a young age is a great idea. It allows them to be social and interactive with you. It is teaching them how to engage in those activities. It also encourages your child to talk, which will be helpful in Kindergarten. It is useful when your child is away from you that they are able to say what they want or need and to tell the teacher if something is wrong.
Also, at home, you should start talking about Kindergarten. This helps prepare your child for what to expect since they have no idea. If they hear you are excited about it, they may also become enthusiastic about it. It also provides your child an opportunity to express how they are feeling about entering Kindergarten. This allows them to express themselves, you to hear it, and then you can work through it together.
Even if your child is used to leaving the house for daycare, entering Kindergarten is new and may require different steps in the morning. According to data from the Census Bureau, about 6.7 million children, equaling a third, receive care on a regular basis from someone that is not a relative. 4.8 million of those children attend a preschool or daycare facility. Your child may now need to eat breakfast at home or take a backpack and lunch with them to school. In addition, your child may have to wear specific clothing to Kindergarten. These are new parts of their morning routine. It is helpful if you begin practicing these new parts of the morning routine at home a few weeks before the first day of school. This way, you and your child will be used to the routine, and it is one less stressor on the first day.
Kindergarten is going to be full of routines. It is helpful to your child if you start practicing routines at home. Routines also help children feel safe and self-confident. By the time your child is age five, they will have developed the ability to reason. This is an excellent time to begin to teach them why there are routines and how they are helpful. You can create a bedtime routine, bath time routine, a reading routine, and a meal routine. Each of these routines has a different benefit for your child, but it will get them in the habit of doing all of these everyday activities.
You can work on basic skills at home, such as holding a crayon properly, holding child safety scissors, and writing letters. You can also work ongoing to the bathroom timely before an accident happens. At age five, 15% of children are still wetting the bed. If your child has an accident at school or during nap time, it could be uncomfortable. Developing these routines may help your child in all areas of their lives.
These steps will be essential to help your child ease into Kindergarten. Preparing your child for the morning routine, explaining what they may do while at school, and creating solid habits not only helps your child in Kindergarten but creates a solid foundation on which they can build learning and growing.
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