Last Updated on
Kindergarten is the beginning of formal education for children ranging from 5 to 6 years of age. It is where children are taught in a playful manner in the formal classroom. Kindergarten schedule is regularly Monday thru Friday. It is a highly emotional time for most parents like myself as I could still remember giving birth to my son like it was yesterday.
Where did Kindergarten originate?
It originated in Germany by Friedrich Froebel, a German educator. He established a school in Blankenburg, Germany in 1837 where he characterized the children in his school as plants, and the teachers as the gardeners. Kinder in German means “children” and garten means “garden.”
How to know if your child is ready for Kindergarten?
Most schools use birthday cutoff dates as a deadline for registration. The birthday cutoff date is to help determine who’s eligible for a Kindergarten class. Age, however, isn’t the only way to measure your child’s readiness.
Your child is probably ready to start Kindergarten is if he/she can follow simple directions, sits still, use the restroom by themselves, recognizes some letters or numbers, works on fine and gross motor skills, handles emotions, however, it is normal for a 5-year-old to break down into tears when they are upset. They are still learning how to handle those emotions and communicate them.
Think about how well your child can communicate and listen. Don’t think about the skills they may not have mastered yet, but their eagerness to continue learning.
Tips to make the transition to Kindergarten easier:
1. Visit the school
This is a great idea to show your child around the new atmosphere that they will be spending a lot of time. For instance, where their classroom(s) are, cafeteria, bathrooms, playground, and more.
Janette Pelletier, assistant professor of human development and applied psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT)shares that, “research shows that children are most often upset because they’re unsure of what’s going to happen next, where they put their things, who their teacher is, what they’re supposed to do.”
2. Practice getting ready for school.
Work together to make a routine that fits both you and your child. Plan out if your child is going to be riding the bus or if you will be taking them and bringing them home. Some schools provide a “First Start” like program to give them practice of riding the bus, but you can always do a little role-playing like mom playing the bus driver as well. Also having someone greet your child as they are coming off the bus can help calm anxiety and prevent the case of missing a bus stop during the first week.
Decide if laying out clothes the night before is a better option then searching for them first thing in the morning.
Try to provide a nutritious breakfast or if you are dropping off your child early most schools do offer breakfast at an additional cost.
3. Help them make friends
A new social scene can be very frightening, however, you can ease that worry the summer before. Ask around your neighborhood to uncover possible classmates and set up a playdate or two so that way they will have a couple of friends that will know.
4. Let your child participate in picking out their school supplies. Pencils. Folders. Notebooks. Crayons and Markers
5. Have your child participate in lunch planning.
Most recommend item for lunch boxes for kids is the bento box. Let them help decide with what you will be making or buying for lunch boxes.
It is not recommended to fill up your child’s lunch with sugary foods as it will give them a spike in their glucose levels in their body. This will result in a slump later in the day which will cause your child to feel tired which is not a good way to feel if you are trying to learn and grow.
6. Make the big day special and be positive with the drop-off.
Take your child back-to-school shopping. A new outfit and new pair of shoes often makes your child feel more confident and it builds the anticipation for the first day. You could even let your child pick a celebratory dinner for the first day back to school.
Often parents take pictures of children on their first day back to school and this is great to see the progression on the growth your child is going through.
When dropping off try to stay positive even if you feel the emotions building. This is a huge milestone and adventure that you are both embarking on. Below are a few tried and true strategies that make drop-off positive.
1. Say when you’ll be back and that you’ll be looking forward to hearing about her first day.
2. Ease someone else in. Suggest that he sit beside a special friend or near the teacher.
3. Stay for a few minutes (if necessary and with the teacher’s agreement)
I truly hope that your child and you have a magnificent school year.
Hi! My name is Ashley and I am the momma of “Irish twin” boys. Meaning they are under a year apart. My boys, Jack & Luke are 11 months apart.
Mom blogger, job coach, ESL teacher and mom to my little girl.