Pre-K is a very exciting time in a child's life. It may be the first time he or she steps away from home and transitions to another setting. There are many ways that you can help your child be confident and comfortable with this transition. Here are a few tips that you may want to give a try:
- Establish set routines, especially for morning and bedtime. Children need to get enough sleep and be prepared for the day without being rushed. We want to begin every day setting our students up for success!
- Visit the classrooms ahead of time. Our school offers a Pre-K Meet and Greet the day before school starts so that students can meet their teachers and some of their new friends. Having parents with them on this day makes it easier for them to separate from parents on the first day of school.
- Read books together about going to school. Literature is a great way to prompt a discussion about going to school.
- Talk to your child about their feelings. How do they feel about school, friends, teachers, and new activities?
- Practice getting ready for school each day before the day arrives. Learning how to get ready takes time and practice. Pretend it's a school day and go through the steps with your child of how to get up, dressed, fed, and out the door. You may event want to start the trend of packing their backpack the night before with their communication folder and any special items that are needed for the next day.
- Rehearse self-help skills such as dressing, cleaning up, and hand washing. Your child will be more confident when they are asked to do these things at school if they have practiced already.
- Involve your child in packing his or her lunch and snacks. Ask them to make some choices (from items that you offer) and engage them in making and packing everything so that they can begin to take responsibility for their own items and choices.
- Practice what lunch time will be like. Pack lunch in their lunch box and then show them how to open and close it, and how to open some snack baggies or containers. Let them give it a try on their own. They may need lots of practice with opening items, but the more independent they can be with their lunchboxes the more confidence and independence they will feel. Lunch time in a cafeteria can feel overwhelming for our little people.
- Be sure to speak to your child about how much they are going to like school. If they hear you speaking positively about it, they are more likely to have a positive view of how their experience is going to go.