The First Day

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by educatingme, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. educatingme

    educatingme Companion

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    Jun 19, 2007

    How can parents help make that first day of Kindergarten a painless transition?? I've seen some parents holding onto their children making things worse than they have to be...others who don't celebrate the milestone. What's a happy medium? What can parents do to help that transition?
     
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  3. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jun 19, 2007

    We encourage parents (at our spring orientation for the next school year) to TALK, TALK, TALK about Kindergarten all summer. Talk about the fun things, the things they will learn, and THEN delve into the fact that "it's so special, it's just for YOU!" Help them learn some new things over the summer (writing name, identifying letters/sounds, tying shoes, whatever) to help them get motivated for learning more.

    And above all else, help them understand that you (the parent) will always be there whenever needed, but that the teacher has lots of fun things planned for just the students. Ensure students who will be dropping them off, picking them up, taking them to the bus stop, etc., and even do some dry runs. The more familiar your child is with the daily routine, the better! Oh, and let them know you will take lots of pictures on that first day. You might even go to a one-hour place to develop them so you can promise pics right after school! (hmmm...I hadn't thought of that one before--I might recommend it this year!)
     
  4. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jun 19, 2007

    As a mom, we do a lot of celebrating of first day of school every year. The kids get new clothes - they spend a day with grandma shopping for them and choosing them by themselves. Dad takes the morning off of work and takes them to breakfast. I give them a small first day of school gift (this year, they got new alarm clocks, the year before, they got Jibbitz for their new Crocs). We, of course, take a ton of pictures at home and in front of the school.

    But, once it's time for school, it's "kiss and go." No long, drawn-out goodbyes. No lingering, no peeking in windows. It's time for a cheerful "Have a great day!" and then leave. Even if the kids cry, the parents just have to trust that the teachers can handle it, and they have to do the best they can to hold in their own tears. (I'm a fine one to talk - my baby is going off to school for the first time this year, and I anticipate that I'm gonna be a mess!).

    As far as prepping kids for the transition, reading books about school, visiting the playground, walking to the bus stop, etc. is always helpful. Let the kids pick out their own backpack. Make it special for them. The parents should express their own confidence in their kids and play up how exciting this milestone is. And, in most school districts, there is some sort of Open House or parent-child-teacher interview prior to the first day...that is immeasurable in how it can help ease fears.
    Kim
     
  5. Kindtchr

    Kindtchr Comrade

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    Jun 20, 2007

    I have the students come with their parents in advance of our first day. That way they (both parents & students) are more comfortable and familiar with me and the classroom. Most of our students come on the bus. I let them know that I will be waiting for them on the playground (where our students assemble upon arrival) holding a mylar balloon. I tell them all they will need to bring with them in a letter sent during the summer.
    Our PTO has a Boo Hoo breakfast for the parents with some first grade parents in attendance to assure the kindergarten parents that it is a safe and fun place for their children to be. They have it about 15 min. after school starts. The experienced parents offer advice and can answer questions.
    The past 3 years I had a Friday afternoon once a month devoted to a preschool story time lasting 30-45 min. We invited any interested 3 & 4 yr. olds. I chose animal themes, read stories & made a simple craft each time. I gave them time to explore the classroom and meet others. The children attending and their parents were very comfortable with me and the school which made the transition so much easier the next school year. Our school social worker was on hand to take any upset students aside to calm them down. If a child was crying when the parent left I would be sure to tell them I would call in 30-60 min. to let them know how their child was doing. The parents were so relieved when I could say their child was fine & playing with classmates.
     

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