It’s the time when your little ones head off to big kid school. No more singing nursery rhymes and taking naps. Your child is in the big leagues now.
Speaking from recent experience, this can be harder on the parent than the child. Kids are pretty resilient and adaptable. It’s us parents that have a hard time letting go.
Part of the letting go process is feeling as though your children are ready for what’s ahead. There are a lot of back to school conversations you can have with your little one. There are also some other things you can do to have them as ready as possible for the big “K”.
ABC’s and 123’s
Depending on what kind of formal prep (pre-k, Head Start, etc.) your child had before Kindergarten will depend on how much of the basics you should try to cover. Your child should be able to recognize most, if not all of the letters of the alphabet as well as be able to count to 10. It’s a bonus if they can write their name in upper and lower case letters too.
A good way to get this down is to buy a manuscript notebook. Those are the notebooks with lined paper to show upper and lower case letters. Most of them have a list of all the upper and lower case letters as well as numbers zero to 10. This way your child can see them all and then try to write them on their own. Remember, learning to write is hard. Try not to get frustrated with them. Encourage them and praise them when they get it right.
Workbooks are a great way to introduce your child to concepts like matching and sorting, as well as simple addition and subtraction. Once again, you can pretty much find these anywhere, but book stores may be your best bet. You can reward your child with a sticker or stamp for a job well done if you’d like.
Visit the New School
Many schools have orientation days prior to the big day. Make the most of these. Your child will feel less anxious if he or she has met the teacher and has seen the classroom. Fear of the unknown is a biggie, even for parents. Having some idea of what you’re walking into will only help the situation. It’s also a good chance for them to meet other students and for you to meet other parents.
While ABC’s and 123’s are important, so are social skills. Children need to know they can’t speak out whenever they want. They need to know how to share, take turns, and let other people speak. These are all social skills that need to be acquired. You can help your child get ready for Kindergarten by practicing these skills at home.
Another important social skill is learning to make friends. There are kids who talk to everyone and those who are too shy to interact. No matter which category your child falls into, it’s important to explain that maybe not everyone is going to want to be their friend. That’s okay. You just need to respect everyone and hope they do the same in return. In my opinion, this is one of the hardest lessons to teach.
Once you’ve prepped them as much as you can, it’s time to wave goodbye and let your little one spread their wings. Easier said than done. Trust me, I know. But, in the end they’ll use the lessons you’ve taught and probably come home with something to teach you too.
Share your top parenting tips, blogs, and ideas. Parenting is hard, join in to celebrate and commiserate your parenting triumphs and failures along with Project Eve Mom’s community of mom and dads looking to make parenting easier. today.