Today, one of my favorite people, Heather from Cool & Hip, I am Not, is guest posting today on how to prepare your small people for kindergarten.
Getting your child ready for kindergarten is an experience like no other. Having done this three times myself, I can tell you it doesn’t seem to change from one child to the next. However, with most things in life, there are little tips you learn along the way that makes those subsequent trips down the hall a bit easier.
Some children take to the idea of going to school straightaway. Others need a bit of coaxing. For those that need to some time to warm up to the idea, try to present it as he or she gets to go to school rather than has to. When it sounds like a special treat, he or she will have [if only subconsciously] an open mind.
Example: “Sally, you are such a lucky girl! You get to go to school now! Think of all the things you’ll learn!”
My youngest was the toughest to convince that going to school was a good idea. I’d tried everything else I could think of to change his mind. Telling him that he “gets to” was the key that unlocked his excitement.
When you are at the store armed with the lengthy and often dreaded supply list, buy extra school supplies. This is great while everyone is having back to school sales. Inevitably you’ll get a note home about mid-year that your little one needs a fresh pack of crayons. That pack that was twenty-five cents in August will most likely be over a dollar come January.
Buy the quality brands of markers, crayons, glue or glue sticks, and plain wood-case pencils*. Your teacher will thank you for it.
If you budget allows, buy the washable versions. Again, your teacher will thank you for it.
Label every crayon. Not the box, but each crayon. This makes pick-up and return of those rogue crayons quick and easy. All supplies should be labeled, unless otherwise noted. To make quick work of labeling, make your own stick-on labels, or you can order some from places like Tiny Prints or Mabel’s Labels.
Packing a lunch not only is more economical, but I’ve found that kids tend to eat better (not to mention more healthy) with a lunch brought from home rather than one bought in the cafeteria.
Buy plastic ware. If you ask your children to bring them back home, you can wash them. Last year, I packed approximately 374 lunches. We only used one [partial] box of 24-count spoons.
Don’t include the pre-packed fruit cups. They are hard to open, and if your child does get it open, he or she will probably spill juice on her clothes. Jello with fruit and cinnamon applesauce are a hit at my house.
Put peanut butter on both sides of the bread. Otherwise, the jelly makes one piece of bread soggy.
Only include containers your child can open easily. While assistance in the cafeteria varies among districts, the children need to be as self-reliant as possible.
Write little notes of love and encouragement. There are a limited number of years this token is appreciated. Enjoy them.
Hopefully these tips will help make your transition into kindergarten (and beyond) a bit easier. It’s an exciting time for everyone.
Before you know it, you’ll be sitting in my shoes: one daughter entering college (after a year off to train with the Army reserves) , one son entering eighth grade, and the youngest son entering seventh.
*While the coated pencils are cute, they will tear up a pencil sharpener quick. Teachers dislike that strongly.*
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