Three Tips to Prepare Your Kindergartner for School

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The time is approaching. Kindergarten. This is an exciting day though it might be filled with tears. Even if your child attended preschool, kindergarten is seen as the official beginning of the academic journey. This is the most critical time in your child’s academic journey because you don’t want your child to start out behind. As you prepare to send your child to kindergarten in a few weeks, here are three tips to help prepare your child.  

Tip 1 - Attend kindergarten boot camp or orientation.

If your child’s school has a kindergarten boot camp or orientation, attend!!! It is important that your child has the opportunity to interact with the teacher and classmates before the first day of school. Kindergarten boot camp and orientation is a great way for you as the parent to discuss a plan to either address your child's weaknesses or strengths. Having an opportunity to meet the teacher and classmates before school begins will help ease your child’s anxiety.

Tip 2 - Create a routine at home.

Your child will be expected to follow a routine at school. Creating the routine of bathroom breaks, lunch, and snack at home will make the transition to school easier.   Making sure your child has enough sleep is super important.  Your child won't be able to nap during the day. Make sure your child has a consistent bedtime and wake up time. Start putting routines into place now so your child won't struggle when school begins. 

Tip 3 - Teach your child soft skills and motor skills.

You may have heard people say kindergarten is the new first grade. In other words, it is more rigorous which leaves little time for teaching soft skills such as how to interact with others or fine motor skills such as how to tie a shoe or how to button or zip clothing.  One of the most difficult situations for a kindergarten teacher is having a class of 25 students and only a few can tie their shoes or zip up their coats.  You will be surprised how quickly your child will pick up these skills with just a little practice at home. 

Kindergarten is a big milestone.  Make that milestone doesn't have a bumpy start by helping your child be prepared.

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David McGuire

Mr. McGuire is a middle school teacher in Indianapolis, Teach Plus Policy Fellow, and currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Indiana State University for Educational Leadership. Driven by the lack of having an African American male teacher in his classrooms growing up, David helped launched the Educate ME Foundation, which is geared towards increasing the number of African American male teachers in the classroom. A born and raised Hoosier, he is dedicated to improving educational outcomes for all students in Indianapolis. He describes his educational beliefs as a reformer grounded in the best practices of traditional public schools, where he was mentored by strong leaders. David graduated from Central State University with a degree in English and also holds an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.