The transition from kindergarten into elementary school can be overwhelming for both children and their parents. Encouraging a positive attitude toward school can go a long way toward ensuring that your children succeed. Here are a few ways to reinforce a positive frame of mind for your child before the first day of elementary school.
- Set a scheduled time for your child. Bedtime is one of the most important times to begin setting a schedule. This will help them, and you, to adjust to the school week. Studies have shown that by creating a schedule early on in a child’s development can help to make them be more socially and emotionally aware.
- Make learning at home a regular thing. Set aside time each day for your child to read, do creative projects such as painting, theater, or other fun projects. Also, begin your child learning about simple math problems involving addition and subtraction. This can be made fun through household chores such as cleaning or helping out in the kitchen.
- Include a set play time at home as a way to emulate recess time at school. Having set times for work and play can help lower your child’s stress level and help them better integrate with other children and the community.
Pretending about school in advance can also help children prepare for the transition. Mornings, for example, can be devoted to reading and language skills activities. Afternoons may be spent learning basic mathematical skills. By considering how a typical school day might be arranged and by using a similar schedule to introduce games and activities, your child is likely to make the transition far more easily.
- Try some educational games as well. Bingo can be the perfect game to play to teach your child math painlessly. There are a number of sites that have bingo cards for parents to print out and play at home. Or by using a home computer or tablet with an internet connection let your child play bingo online with bingo games specially made for kids. Bingo can always be adapted for games that are age appropriate and can teach simple addition and subtraction in the early elementary grades onward. Later, when it comes time for your child to learn multiplication, division and more complex math concepts such as algebra, bingo is a great way to learn in a fun way.
Have discussions about school and get them thinking how the new school year will be different than the previous year. Begin by taking a trip to the school to meet with the teacher if possible. If the playground is open, let your child explore or see it for themselves. Many school districts will offer orientation for students, especially younger students in beginning grades. By finding out their assigned teacher your child, it may be possible to meet with them. If you know of other students who have had your child’s teacher in the past, ask them what they liked the most about that teacher.
When it comes to shopping for school supplies, bring your child along. Purchasing school supplies can make a child excited about school in a tangible way. When you allow them to help pick out their own school bag, backpack, notebooks, crayons, pencils and any other back-to-school items, they become further invested in school and gain a sense of control and confidence.
On the First Day of School
The first day of school is a big day for everyone. New people, new environments and new situations can cause a child and even parents to be nervous. Let your child ride the bus or walk with a friend to school. You may also consider driving or walk your child to school yourself before handing them over to their teacher for the day. This is a good time to further discuss any other worries they may have. Before leaving them for the day, be sure to let them know that if they need them, you will be sure to come and help them through it.