“How can I prepare my child for pre-kindergarten?”

“Next year I’m going to the big class”. – 4 year old Annie D.

You probably already are! There are standards that students are expected to know upon leaving pre-kindergarten but coming in, there are not any “musts”. See below for some helpful things that you can do to make a smooth transition to school.

Prior to starting school, explain to your child the reasons that they have to go. Young learners need reasons for doing things. Providing an explanation allows them to see the value in attending.

Play educational games that focus on letters, numbers, colors and shapes. It’s even better if you have to take turns.

Provide opportunities for your child to play with other children within their age group. Taking them to the playground, museums, zoos etc. will give you an idea of how your child interacts with others.

Read books together about starting school and or changes/transitions. There are so many books that show drop offs and pick ups and young learners will be able to relate to those.

If possible, visit the school. Get to know the personnel and bring your child with you.Familiarity makes children comfortable. Maybe teachers can host a virtual event if meetings cannot be set up in person.

Begin a “school routine” a couple of weeks before school begins. Include a reasonable bedtime, wake up time, a morning routine, etc. Try to provide a structure similar to a school schedule. Ask teachers for a tentative schedule beforehand.

A really important thing you can do is talk! Communicate with your child about how you are feeling. Let them know how proud you are and it’s okay to let them know you’ll miss them when they’re at school too. Give time and space to talk about their feelings too. Setting aside a quick few minutes to reflect on their day is a great idea also.

Expect some separation anxiety or possible regressive behavior. Try not to penalize and just be supportive.

Don’t forget to attend school events and always check your childs’ backpack.