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First Day of Kindergarten

written by: Kathy Foust • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 9/11/2012

Is your child afraid of school or are they excited to go? Use these first day of school tips to ease the fear and build the excitement in your child!

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    Kindergarten Skills

    Starting kindergarten may be hard enough for your child. The tips in the next section will deal with some of the social issues that need to be addressed before going to kindergarten. Here we will focus on the academic issues. Read through the tips below to learn how you can make sure your child is prepared for kindergarten.

    • Contact the school to find what specific knowledge children should have before entering kindergarten. While there are some basic tips here, by contacting the school you can get more details about your specific area.
    • Children should be able to sit quietly for brief periods of time.
    • They should possess the ability to manipulate crayons and other writing utensils in such a way as to create specified shapes.
    • If children cannot recognize specific letters, they should at least be aware that the alphabet exists and be able to sing the alphabet song.
    • A kindergarten child needs to be able to follow directions by various authority figures.
    • Children in kindergarten should be able to count to ten.
    • They should be able to identify colors on a limited basis.
    • Some schools require that kindergarten students are able to tie their shoes.

    Use these first day of school tips as a guideline for preparing your child for the academic world of kindergarten, then use the tips below to make sure the whole family is prepared for the kindergarten experience.

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    New Beginnings

    Not everyone adapts to change well. Children are resilient, but they still become afraid of new things. For instance, a child who has always been at home may feel anxious about going to kindergarten. Use the first day of school tip below to help you and your child ease into the transition from home to kindergarten.

    • Try to get them excited. If your child has friends in school, they may hear their friends complaining or worrying about going back to school. Try to help them avoid feeling this way by talking about all the new games and songs they will learn. Try to focus on the child's interest. For example, if they love to look at books, remind them that kindergarten brings them one step closer to actually reading.
    • Take them to school the first day. Say hello to the teacher and allow your child to see that you are friendly with the teacher. This will help them to feel more at ease with the teacher themselves.
    • Once the child is in the classroom, try to leave in a timely manner. The longer you stay, the harder it is for a child to accept it when you leave. This makes it difficult on the child, the teacher and you.
    • If you feel the urge to cry as you drop them off, try to think of how hard that will make it for the child. An emotional parting is not going to benefit the child at all.
    • Let them know how long they will be there in terms that they can understand. Some children measure time in terms of movies. That means that if the child is going to be in school for 6 hours, they will be there for 4 movies.
    • Tell them how big they are. They are now in school! Small children are anxious to grow up and kindergarten is a sort of mile marker for them.
    • Get excited yourself! Talk with your child about all the neat things that they will learn in school and be excited about it for them. Happiness can be contagious!

    These first day of school tips are meant to help your child be excited instead of scared to go to kindergarten. It is a scary time for them. They need to know that this is a positive thing. They also need to know that you will miss them but are excited about this new event in their lives.

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    Read on for more tips about preparing for kindergarten. If you are still uncertain as to whether or not your child is ready for kindergarten, you may wish to contact your child's preschool teacher or upcoming kindergarten teacher to discuss your concerns.

First Day of School Tips

Use this series of first day of school tips to make sure that you and your child are prepared for the first day of school. From school supplies to the right haircut, you can make sure your child is ready to go!
  1. Understanding Typical Grade School Code of Conduct Rules
  2. Back to School Supplies: Tips to Prepare
  3. First Day of Kindergarten
  4. Starting High School - Tips to Get Your Student Off to a Good Start