The transition from staying at home with mom or dad, to spending the day in a kindergarten classroom is a huge adjustment for many children. In addition to leaving the comfort of home, children are confronted with a large group of new people, in a new scenario, with new rules, and new activities. That’s a lot for a young child to adjust to.
Here are four parenting tips to help your young child have a smooth transition from staying home with a parent to attending kindergarten:
Create A Structured Environment That Mimics A Classroom Setting
Depending upon how you run your household, chances are your child may not yet be accustomed to the more structured environment of a kindergarten classroom. Take some time in the months leading up to your child’s entry into kindergarten to set a schedule so that he or she can become accustomed to it. If your child goes to daycare during the day, he or she may already be adjusted to this aspect of the school day.
Give Your Children Small Tasks To Learn Responsibility
Most parents would agree that raising a child to be a responsible adult is a top priority. So why not start building those skills at an early age. By teaching your children how to clean up after themselves and manage small chores they will grow up knowing that those things are expected of them. When you do send your child off to their kindergarten classroom, their teachers will be so grateful to have a well-behaved and responsible child in the classroom setting and an example for his or her peers.
Expose Your Children To Different Kinds Of People
At such a young age it is possible that your child has never engaged with someone who looks, acts, or speaks differently than he or she is familiar with. Without context, seeing a child or adult with a disability or speech impediment, or someone from another race for the first time may be confusing. Spend some time exposing your children to people from other cultures and with differing abilities to help expand their hearts and minds. And remember, children, are sponges who pick up much more information from their surroundings than we realize. So if someone in your family speaks in an intolerant manner about other people, chances are your child has heard it before.
Make Learning Fun For Everyone
Your child will be in some kind of educational system for, at least, the next 12 years of his or her life. By getting them excited about learning at a very early age you will set them up for educational success in the future. Spend time reading together as a family and exploring their various interests, show them that learning is fun!
Sending your children off to kindergarten is such an exciting transition for any family. Children are quick learners and will pick up new skills before you know it, but the cultural shift is another adjustment that you may not have prepared for. Teaching your children what to expect from a classroom environment with new rules, new people, and new expectations are very important. At St. Barnabas we take Kindergarten education very seriously. For more parenting tips on how to prepare your child for our kindergarten programs, or to take a tour of our campus, contact us today.