Get Ready for The First Day
The thought of seeing your little one don a cap and gown for preschool graduation is enough to bring any mother to tears. You spend years preparing for the moment they will walk across that miniature stage, but sending them off to the next chapter in their educational career – preschool or kindergarten – could make you (and them) cry. Year after year, however, families make the big transition as we watch our babies grow into the next generation of awesome kids. Serving more than 15,000 families nationwide, it’s safe to say Kiddie Academy has seen more than a fair share of preschool graduates. Here are a few Kiddie Academy-tested tips for easing the transition, instilling confidence in your little one and getting the whole family involved and excited for what’s to come next…
- Get them excited about school gear. A My Little Pony pencil sharpener? A Minions notebook? That coveted Star Wars Trapper Keeper!? Paw Patrol sneakers? New school supplies are half the fun in going to the next grade every year. Let your child pick out a lunch box, backpack or a new outfit to wear on the first day of school. You can’t start preschool without a lucky pencil.
- Visit the new school before the first day. Take your child for a visit before the school year begins. Usually the playground will be open, at least, which is one of the most important parts to test out before school starts anyway. Spending some time on the new school grounds will help your kids get acquainted with their new environment, start to learn the route to and from home for comfort and gain familiarity with the new landscape.
- Prepare to nail the drop-off. Kiddie Academy teachers and directors have a lot of experience helping parents get comfortable with the drop-off process so it becomes smooth and routine for parents, children and staff. Separation anxiety is a normal part of development for young children and how parents and teachers respond to it will determine their success for a positive and healthy transition. Confidence is the key element to the drop-off. It’s important that parents don’t linger or ask their child for permission to leave. Sometimes, a child will not be okay with the drop-off, and that’s part of the process. Don’t look back, don’t turn around, don’t return to their side as reassurance (you don’t want to reinforce crying) – just walk away confidently and they’ll adopt your confidence.
- Read books about going to school. One of Kiddie Academy’s favorite recommendations is to encourage learning and preparing for a new experience (e.g., potty training, moving to a new house, or going to school) by reading a book about it. Start reading books about going to preschool or kindergarten a few weeks before school starts to help ease the transition and encourage anticipation and excitement. (Below is a reading list reference!)