While many of us are taking a deep breath and still enjoying a much-needed summer break, some of us might have lingering thoughts about our little one’s upcoming transition to kindergarten, leading to feelings of anxiety, excitement, fear, and worry. Let’s be honest, whether you feel ready or not, the shift to school will be an adjustment for everyone in the family. Luckily, there are some simple ways you can help prepare your child for kindergarten now. Believe it or not, most of these readiness skills do not fall into the realm of academia. Rather, they focus on the social/emotional skills that will set your child up for a successful start to schooling.
On my son’s first day of kindergarten, I hid behind a pine tree to spy on him during the first recess. I wanted to make sure he found other children to play with and that he would line up with his class when it was time to go back inside. I stood there for 20 minutes peeking out from behind the tree and chatting with other parents who were doing the same thing.
I’ve been running a private dayhome/preschool for almost 16 years. I wipe many littles’ tears, read them stories, kiss their scraped knees, cook their favorite meals, teach them how to write their names, and rock them to sleep. In the winter, I bundle those little bodies into their snowsuits to go outside and build snow castles and in the summer, I apply sunscreen to those same little bodies, so they can run through the sprinklers and enjoy picnics in the park. And when the sun doesn’t shine, we improvise and run in the rain. We visit the animals at the zoo, and we go on hikes and other adventures, too! Working as a private dayhome provider is crazy, exhausting, and non-stop, but so rewarding because I know that I am positively impacting and shaping young minds.
With hundreds of pre-kindergarten programs to choose from in the Calgary area, the options can be overwhelming for most parents. The bottom line: finding the program that works best for you and your child requires research. The best place to start is by asking questions. If possible, attend an open house, or arrange for a visit. Find out everything you can about the school. Don’t forget to take into consideration things such as convenience, class times, fees, location, field trips and excursions, and recommendations from other parents, types of toys and equipment available, etc.
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