Sending your kids to kindergarten can be scary. For many, this is the first time your child will be away from you for long periods of the day. In addition, the child has to be armed with some basic knowledge; every state, including Florida, has standards children must meet before starting school. These four parenting tips can help you prepare both your children and yourself, mentally and emotionally.
1. Visit the Doctor
Your child has to be ready physically to start school. This includes a checkup, as well as making sure he or she is caught up on vaccinations. It gives you a chance to make sure your kid is ready for the year ahead. In the process, it helps give you some peace of mind at a time you need it. Finally, it helps ensure that he or she can remain as healthy as possible during the school year.
2. Read With Your Kid
Almost any list of academic parenting tips will tell you that reading is one of the most important activities you can do with a young child. When you read with your pre-kindergarten child, it helps show how important it is. You are laying a foundation for him or her to acquire knowledge over time and develop greater vocabulary and language skills. It also gives you a direct connection to your child's education, something that will become more important when you are separated during the school day.
3. Spend Time With Other Children
School is not just about academics. A crucial part of your child's school experience is social: learning to work with others, resolve problems, and get along. Make playdates over the course of the summer, take your child to local playgrounds, and do other things to make sure they have time around their peer group. The more social interaction you can give them before kindergarten starts, the less daunting school will be for them.
4. Plan Family Time
At the same time, you need to make sure you stay connected as a family. One great difficulty kids and parents face is the shift from being together all the time to being apart for large parts of the day. A way to ease the transition is to start a schedule now of evening time as a family: time to play games, talk about your days, and just enjoy each other's company. It helps you set up a pattern of communication, and establishes the end of the day as a time for you to talk and listen.
These parenting tips are about more than just your child; you need to be ready for him or her to go to kindergarten too. The more you do to prepare your family, the more equipped you are to maintain those strong relationships when you have less time together. Children need to know that you are there for them. Not every day will be easy or fun, but you can always let them know you love them. Use the time before kindergarten to set the patterns that show that love and support.