Last week, we invited the parents in our pre-K class to take part in the discussion about the transition from preschool to Kindergarten. This can be an emotional and anxiety provoking time for both preschoolers and parents. We hope to help make it as smooth as possible for everyone.
At Cape Ann Preschool, we try to meet with the area Kindergarten teachers to pass along information about who your child is at school (how they learn, personality, best type of teacher for them, class placement with/without friends from our school, etc). If we are unable to meet in person, we will give the schools copies of our reports and the paperwork that you give us to submit.
Your kids are ready for Kindergarten! So are YOU! They have learned so much, grown so much, and are ready for the next big step. It’s your job to help them get there smoothly. It’s best not to talk about Kindergarten and “how big they are now”; it’s too much pressure and might cause anxiety. Remind other adults in their lives to do the same.
Do keep the learning going all summer. Read, play games, count, create, ask questions, give them tasks to do. Have playdates, explore, practice life skills like lunch box gear, bathrooming, changing clothes, making eye contact, asking for help. These are all the things they will need to do by themselves next year and beyond.
Kindergarten teachers are mandated by the state to follow standards and a curriculum, and your child will likely not get the play time he or she really needs. Recess is short, free choice time is extremely minimal! Kindergarten is work. There is homework even on vacations. Keep a positive attitude about it. The kids read your reactions to all new experiences.
Let them have down time when they come home; don’t sign them up for activities at first. It’s a good idea to have them get used to the longer and more demanding days. Expect that they might fall apart at home because they have held it together all day long. That’s okay! They will build their stamina for the school schedule.
Communicate with your child’s teacher. It’s ok to be a squeaky wheel. Ask questions and let them know you care about your child and what they are learning; unfortunately, not all parents do pay such careful attention. Be proactive. Get involved. Volunteer in the classroom. (The PTO is not the same as being in the room with your child and his/her peers.)
Your children love learning! They see that it is important to you and that you and their teachers care about them. Keep it up! Be proud of them and keep your expectations high. Don’t do for them what they can do for themselves. They are ready and so are you!
We are here for you all. Please don’t forget about us; stay in touch! We want to know how the kids are doing and hear about life. If we could keep you all here we would! Enjoy these first “lasts”. They are special!