Last week I was talking to a mom whose son will be starting kindergarten next week. She said she had chest pains from stress over the whole ordeal! She was relieved to find out that he will be in a class with a neighbor boy that he knows. I know how important this milestone is for parents, as they “launch” their child into the school system.

Recently I was given a helpful list of suggestions for preparing your child for kindergarten shared by the Fairfield Public Schools in Fairfield, CT. These suggestions can be relevant through the beginning of school as your child makes that big adjustment:

Build a feeling of confidence in your kindergartner.

  • Try new activities gradually and with support and encouragement.
  • Buy a backpack early and have your child practice putting things in and out of it.
  • Buy a lunch box early and practice lunchtime with picnics.
  • Read books about starting school. Ask your child how he feels and stay positive. (The library and local book stores have these all on display right now)
  • Encourage your child to use the toilet alone.

Practice sharing, taking turns and cooperation

  • Arrange play dates with kids in your child’s class

Establish routines

  • A week before school begins, wake your child each day at the time he or she will be waking on school mornings
  • Check out the bus stop, or practice walking to school
  • Begin day care or babysitting arrangements a week before
  • Practice laying out clothes the night before (give 2 choices)
  • Decide on one place in your home to keep the backpack each day so that your child can feel organized

Letting go is hard, but your child is moving toward independence and embarking on a great adventure in learning!