UA Matters: Helping Your Preschooler Transition to Kindergarten
Sending your child to ‘big school’ can be one of the most exciting yet stressful times for you and your child. The University of Alabama’s Dr. Laura Bloom offers some simple things that can help ease the transition.
- Visit the school and meet the teacher(s). There may be an “Open House” or “Meet and Greet,” or you can set up an appointment through the main office to tour the school. You may also be able to let your child play on the playground and visit the library and lunchroom.
- Get in a school routine early. Summer habits and lack of schedules can be hard to break. Getting a head start, several weeks before school actually starts, will save a lot of tears once school has started.
- Practice self-help skills such as using the bathroom, washing hands, wiping nose and face, and dressing/tying shoes so that your child will feel a sense of independence.
- Read books about starting kindergarten. Books like “Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten,” written by Joseph Slate and illustrated by Ashley Wolff or “Kindergarten Rocks!,” by Katie Davis, are wonderful choices.
- Be positive. Allow your child to express their fears, but try to focus on the things your child has to look forward to.
- Remember that all children adjust to change differently. Some children will run through the door of their classroom and be fine where others may be apprehensive. Keep in touch with the teacher if your child appears to have a tough time adjusting.
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