Going to kindergarten for the first time is often one of the most exciting events parents and kids anticipate. Some children, however, are reluctant to go to school and be away from the familiarity of home or daycare that they are accustomed to. If this is the case with you and your child, use these tips to help them get excited and ready for kindergarten.
Show them pictures of your kindergarten class
It may help your child to become more thrilled about going to school if they know that you did, and that you enjoyed it. Whip out your old kindergarten class photos (1st grade works, too), and point out old friends you remember and how fun/nice/sweet your teacher was. Explain the different activities you did at school that were your favorite. If your child knows that Mommy or Daddy went to kindergarten and turned out OK, they may feel more willing to give it a try themselves. A photo simply helps gives them visual proof that you went to kindergarten, too.
Take them shopping for supplies
Nothing gets a kid more excited for school than seeing the shiny new boxes of crayons, colorful scissors, notebooks, and binders they get to take with them on their first day. Take your child with you to buy school supplies, explaining to them how much fun they will have with each item you put in your cart. Saying things like "You will get to create so many pretty pictures with your new crayons during art," or "This lunchbox will be full of tasty snacks for quiet time" can help your child visualize that they will actually get to use their new things in a fun environment.
Let them see their class
If their kindergarten teacher does an open house or before-school meet-and-greet, take advantage of this opportunity to let your child see their learning environment and meet some new classmates. It's OK to pull the teacher aside and explain to him/her that your kid is a bit nervous about starting school—it gives the teacher an opportunity to meet them one-on-one while offering your presence as comfort.
When your offspring is ready for kindergarten, you can make the experience a much more enjoyable one. Whether you do this by sharing your own personal stories of starting school or you let your child explore a bit in the classroom before their education starts, you can help make them feel more confident about entering kindergarten.