Elementary School Principal Adam Fraser offers tips to help parents as their children prepare to enter school as kindergarten and first-grade students.
Preparing a child for the start of school is important for a student entering any grade level, but it is a big transition for a family with a child starting school for the first time.
Adam Fraser, elementary school principal at CCA, offers the following tips to help parents as they prepare their children to enter school as kindergarten and first-grade students:
Establish morning routines. As the summer winds down, it is important for families to begin establishing healthy morning routines before the start of school. Begin preparing your children to wake up at a time comparable to the time they will need to be up during the school year. Children should start their day with a healthy breakfast and get in a good habit of opening a book or their computer to do some reading.
Travel games. When traveling in the car, make the commute fun and educational. Ask your children to point out numbers they can read on road signs and billboards. See if they can find numbers that will help them count to 30. A child should be able to count to 30 by the end of kindergarten.
Reduce anxiety and improve social skills. A student entering school, or a new school, for the first time can become anxious and overwhelmed by a new setting and unfamiliar faces. To eliminate anxiety and improve social skills, sign your child up for activities or classes at your local library. These activities will help your child improve listening skills and understand social cues, which can be applied when communicating in person or virtually.
Rotate in singalong videos. Catchy songs help students with memorization. Instead of having them watch a favorite cartoon or movie before bed, introduce educational singalong videos. When children watch these videos before bedtime, the songs will stay top of mind when they fall asleep and might stay with them as they wake up the next morning.
Create independence early. Do not wait until high school graduation to give your child independence. For many parents, kindergarten and first grade will be the first time they acknowledge their child is growing up. Introducing small amounts of independence – and becoming comfortable with it – will help avoid the strain of giving independence all at once when it comes time for your child to graduate high school.
Going back to school at any age is challenging, but creating a foundation for students who are going to school full time for the first time is crucial to start them on a path to academic success.