Starting school is a milestone in any child's life. However, it can also be a big transition. You can make it easier by preparing your child ahead of time. Here are four ways you can get your child ready to start kindergarten.
1. Read to your child.
It's never too early to familiarize your child with reading. According to Rasmussen College, reading to your young child sets them up to be avid readers later in life. Encourage your child to participate in the process in an age-appropriate way; ask them to pick books they would like read to them. Frequently reading aloud to your child can also help to expand their vocabulary, which will help them in school.
2. Establish daily routines.
School is often the first experience your child will have with routine, and that can be jarring if your child is used to doing whatever they want all day. Establishing regular times for waking, sleeping, and meals can get your child accustomed to following routines. This can make the transition into kindergarten easier. If your child doesn't like the concept of routines, you may want to introduce them slowly, starting with lunchtime.
3. Enroll your child in a pre-kindergarten program.
Pre-kindergarten programs are a cross between a school environment and a daycare. These programs are a great way to get your child used to the structure of an average school day. Your child will get to know their teacher and meet lots of different kids in their class. Children who attend a pre-kindergarten class may be more confident and ready to start school than children who stayed home with their parents.
4. Let your child meet their kindergarten teacher.
If your child is feeling anxious about starting kindergarten for the first time, call their school and ask if it would be possible to set up a meeting with their teacher. Getting to meet their future teacher ahead of time, with a parent present, can quell some of your child's school-related anxiety. It can help them to see that school isn't scary, and their teacher is a nice person who wants to help them learn.
These are just a few tips to help you prepare your child to start school. When your child has a good first experience in kindergarten, it can help to set them up for a lifetime of learning. After all, education is one of the most important things you can give to your child.