How to Get a Jump on Kindergarten Jitters

Get Ready!

  • Share upbeat thoughts about kindergarten.
  • Read books about children in school. Check with a librarian for recommendations.
  • Explain rules your child will be expected to follow in school (raise your hand, wait your turn, say “please” and “thank you”) etc.
  • Visit the school with your child.
  • Purchase school supplies according to the school list. Catch the summer sales.
  • Reach your child basic skills like buttoning his pants, opening his straw, proper hand washing, bathroom skills, etc.
  • Attend kindergarten registration.

Get Set!

  • Use a calendar to help your child count down the last 2 weeks before school starts.
  • Begin a gradual transition to a school bedtime and wake-up schedule.
  • Talk to your child about what you will be doing while he is at school. Focus on the fact that you will miss each other but you both have important things to do.
  • Discuss before or after school arrangements. If your child will be receiving before or after school care, visit the site and meet the provider.
  • Take a practice walk to the bus stop. Talk about bus safety. If your child will be taking the bus home, make sure she knows who will be there to greet her.
  • Recognize your own anxiety. Reassure yourself that your child is ready for the next step and that he will be well cared for at school. If you are anxious, your child is more likely to be.
  • Help your child select a first day outfit and set it out the night before.
  • Attend open house.
  • Get your camera ready!

Go!

  • Wake your child early enough that she will not feel rushed.
  • Walk your child to the bus stop. Take his picture as he boards the bus. Make sure he has his bus tag.
  • Even if your child seems anxious, encourage her and wave good-bye with a big smile.… You can cry later.
  • Saying good-bye at the bus stop is best, however, if you must say good-bye at the school door, keep it short and encouraging.
  • Expect some anxious moments in the first few weeks. Listen to your child’s feelings and encourage her that she can do it. If concerns persist, contact your child’s teacher or school counselor. They are trained to help! J

Keep Going!

  • Be a partner in your child’s education.
  • Volunteer in class and for PTA events (join the PTA)
  • Attend school events and parent-teacher conferences/meetings.
  • Read every handout and paper your child brings home/respond back to notes.
  • Make school a priority. Schedule vacations and appointments outside of school hours whenever possible. Good attendance is crucial to success!
  • Expect your child to succeed in school. Children try hard to meet their parents’ expectations.
  • Respect homework. Sit with your child as they work. Show him/her that you take it seriously.
  • Speak up! If there is a problem at school, talk to your child’s teacher immediately. Work together with school staff to find a solution.
  • Celebrate! Your child is learning every day! J

This information was produced by WJCC Elementary School Counselors.