Tips for the First Day of School
Get Ready for Kindergarten and First Grade
By Leigh Felesky
You’ve changed her diapers, tolerated her terrible twos and taught her to get dressed by herself. Now, it’s time for another milestone – the first day of school. Nervous? Excited? Don’t know what to expect? Welcome to kindergarten and first grade, Mom. Here are eight tips to get you and your little one ready for her first day.
The Name Game
Teaching your child to write their name makes for excellent kindergarten preparation, according to Countdown to Kindergarten of Boston. Small letters are used most commonly, but it doesn’t hurt to teach her both upper and lower case. And once she can write her first name, have fun with it. Move onto her last name and then her brother’s name or the dog’s name – any practice is good. When you’re done with names, teach your child to write her address and telephone number.
Before going into kindergarten, most school boards suggest that children be able to get dressed and undressed, and use the toilet independently. They should also know how to put on their own coats and shoes. If your child isn’t up to speed, you may need to get creative. Stickers work well for encouragement. Also, a routine that the child begins to recognize can help. Make sure you allow enough time for each stage so she doesn’t feel pressured.
Teach the Basics
Take your child on errands and explain how things work as you go. Stops could include the grocery store, library and post office. As you visit each location, talk him through the steps: “This is where all the produce is, here’s the meat section and this is where we go to pay at the cashier.” General knowledge of how things work makes for good kindergarten preparation, says Countdown to Kindergarten.
Also, when reading to your child, encourage comprehension by talking about the story and asking questions. For example, what was their favorite part? Or, stop halfway through and ask what they think will happen at the end of the story.
Make Getting Ready Fun
Remember the excitement you felt starting school with new clothes and a fresh supplies? With younger kids, a bag full of gadgets, a new backpack and a few new items of clothing tend to gear them up without any further encouragement, says Amanda Formaro, mother of four in Nevada. Go shopping together to help get your little one excited. Check out the latest back to school styles, top supplies and our general back to school checklist.