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Challenge: It's Back to School: Share Your Advice

Transitioning into Kindergarten

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It is hard to believe we are days away from starting a new school year. Our students have two more days before they will be returning their beach towels to storage and the yellow buses will be making their way up residential streets picking up students with their backpacks filled with new supplies to aid their success in the classroom. All of our students have to make the adjustment into the new school year. Most of them will be familiar with the school routine, but a small population of students will be entering the public school atmosphere for the first time. The class of 2032, our kindergarten students, will be anxiously waiting at the bus stops or sitting quietly in the back seat of their car while being transported to school to begin a new chapter of their lives.

It is an exciting time for all when it comes to welcoming our kindergarten students into our school buildings. The students are anxious to make new friends and are curious to see if their new teacher will be interesting. Their teachers have spent the last couple of weeks becoming familiar with the names of their new students while preparing daily lessons to ease them into new learning adventures. At the same time parents are proud to see their little ones enter school, but a little sad they are growing up.

As your child spends the last few days of summer in the sun or at the pool, the following tips and suggestions will help your child be successful in the kindergarten classroom. It is important for your child to know information that is unique to them, such as their age, birthdate, address, phone number, and how to write their name. The kindergarten teachers will spend a lot of time on these skills, but the child will have a jumpstart if he or she can recognize these attributes. Academically, kindergarten children are expected to know most of their letters, colors, shapes, and numbers 1 to 10. Again, the teachers will introduce all these skills, but the more your child knows at the onset of the first day, the more the teachers can expand on higher learning thinking skills.

A few other skills you can work on prior to the first day of school are assisting your child to hold their pencil or crayon correctly and using scissors. Basic skills such as touching each finger to their nose, hopping on one foot, bouncing and catching a ball, and being able to zip and button clothing are also skills that are important for your child to be successful. They will have plenty of practice in the classroom, but the more they know the more they'll grow!

The last area of skills that can be reinforced at home are your child's social skills. At five and six we all know children can be very social, but can they be attentive enough in the classroom? Children will be taught to follow directions, show respect, patience, and learn to ask questions when they need help with something. They will also be expected to put toys away, play cooperatively with others and take care of their personal belongings. With these basic skills, your child will transition beautifully into the classroom. It is an exciting experience for all!

Educational tip: To make your child comfortable while transitioning into kindergarten, make sure they are aware of all the new things they are going to learn in the classroom. Sometimes the unknown is what causes school anxiety and if they know they are safe and are going to learn so much, it will be enough for them to relax and enjoy their first day of school.

Recommended Reading: “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn

By Dr. Jessica Scott

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