V started kindergarten yesterday, which is mind-blowing. It’s been a busy couple of weeks of shopping, attending classes, visiting her new school and meeting her teacher. We have tried to pump her up for the start of school and she seemed excited to go to a new school and make new friends. Yesterday morning we walked her to the school bus stop, because she wanted to ride with her friends in the neighborhood. We were nervous about it, so we did what any other first-timers would do: We drove to her school to watch her get off the bus and walk into the playground. We also walked her to the correct line and to see her teacher again. In honor of the occasion, I’m sharing what we did to try to prepare her for the change from preschool to kindergarten.
- Signed her up for a summer reading class geared toward those entering kindergarten. It taught her sight words and blending, and she has been able to sound out words because of it. The class was five weeks and included online sessions in addition to the weekly classes.
- Reminded her that she could have play dates with her preschool friends. Her current friends aren’t attending the same school because of them live in the boundary of another nearby school. We told her she could still have playdates with her friends so that she won’t be sad. But we also reminded her she will likely make new friends at school, too, and that’s exciting.
- Talked about kindergarten over the summer. We talked about what would happen at school, some things she might learn at kindergarten and that she would be attending every day for a full day.
- Printed kindergarten prep activities we found online. I found a workbook and other worksheets online and had her practice skills regularly. She was eager to work on the worksheets.
- Took her school shopping. I allowed her to pick out clothing items she liked and then paired them with matching outfits. She loves leopard print! I also had her help with supply shopping.
- Attend school events before classes start. We attended a playdate and a meet-and-greet so that we could familiar ourselves with school and she would feel less nervous.
- Prepared ourselves for possible behaviorial challenges during the first weeks. I have heard and read that children can have a rough time transitioning sometimes, so we will try to be understanding.
I’m sure there’s more we could have done, but I’m happy to say she was looking forward to school. I hope that continues.
More from the first day: