Though an exciting step in any child's development journey, beginning a kindergarten program can trigger a lot of emotions. As a parent, you'll naturally want to prepare them for their first big day. With a few simple tips, your task will become easier.
Attend Taster Days
An easy way to generate excitement and settle nerves is to take your child to taster days. Taster days give them insight into their new routine and their new setting. It also allows your child to meet their new teacher, so they'll feel like less of a stranger on their first day. Taster days are also an opportunity for you to meet the teacher and ask them questions. When you both attend, you'll both have a chance to settle your nerves.
Give Them Independence
If your child doesn't already attend childcare, a kindergarten program will be their first real taste of independence. To help them grow used to spending time away from you, start introducing them to kindergarten-like experiences. For example, swimming classes, library reading sessions and playgroups. This will help them feel more confident in their ability to be away from you. It will also help them develop the social skills required to build independent friendships.
Read Relevant Books
It's important to not dismiss your child's worries if they say they feel anxious about going to kindergarten. Instead, find ways that you can explore those worries together. One way to do this is to read age-appropriate fiction books that explore a child's first day at school. Alternatively, other friends may have a child who can talk to yours about their first few days at kindergarten. When they learn about the fun they can have at school, your child should look forward to it more.
Try Play-Based Learning
Although your child will start developing skills such as reading and writing at kindergarten, you can still take a play-based approach to help prepare them. Find fun ways to teach them the letters of their name and show a lot of excitement in their learning. Then, move onto other everyday words they may need to know, such as sibling's names and the spelling of household items. When they see that they're capable of mastering the basics, they are more likely to feel excited and driven at their new school.
Make sure you involve your little one in kindergarten discussions. When they feel as though they have a sense of control, they're less likely to encounter anxiety. Contact a kindergarten program for more information.