Marisol and Flynn started Kinder last week. Such a big milestone.
Initially I was a little hesitant to start them. I was worried that they might be too young, and that they weren't ready academically. I initially planned on enrolling them into a 2 year kinder program. I thought this would ease them into the school environment and the new going to school every day schedule.
After they met the teachers however, it was decided that they were ready for regular kinder. I attribute this to the fact that they went to pre-school and that we did extra activities at home to prepare them. They attended pre-school for 2 years. The first year they went just two mornings a week, then the second year they went three mornings a week. We wanted to ease them into what would eventually be a full day and not have them feel overwhelmed all at once.
I want to share some advice for getting your kids ready for pre-school.
There is a fabulous PDF 'Today I Will Get Lost In A Book' by KinderCare that I highly recommend. Here are just a few tidbits of information you will find on there that we actually did both before and during the time they spent in pre-school.
- Read with expression. Alter your voice for characters and become animated during exciting parts.
- Make up games while looking at pictures, such as “Where’s the girl’s nose?” or “Where’s Mommy’s nose?” or “Where’s your nose?”
- Take your child to your local public library to borrow books or to enjoy story time.
- Cook with a book. Read a book with a food theme before you head to the kitchen to cook something together.
- Bring books everywhere you go — in the car, to the doctor’s office, to the park.
I would like to add something to this list. Craft with books. Let's say that you are reading a book about caterpillars, make an egg carton caterpillar with the kids, or have them paint a caterpillar, or take them out into the garden to look at and photograph caterpillars. Even better study them like we did recently.
With reading you can teach your children so much. Aside from spending quality time with them, they will learn how to read, how to recognize words and letters, how to tell a story by looking at images, how to craft and cook and do science experiments by following instructions or using their imagination.
Here are a few other suggestions on preparing your kids for pre-school.
- Try to view the classroom and have your child meet their teacher before the first day.
- Have your child practice getting out of bed and getting ready for school before the first day.
- Establish a good bedtime routine - both when they go to sleep and what time they wake up, even if you have to wake them.
- Let them help choose their clothes. Plan in advance if you can. Maybe they can choose all of the outfits they will need for the week. Hang the outfit on a hanger and put a tag on the hanger with a letter or number corresponding to the day they should wear it.
- Don't forget your camera on their first day.
- Keep all important dates in a calendar. I use Cozi to schedule everything for our house. It works on my smart phone as well as my computer and I can send myself reminders on when special dress days and celebrations are, if the kids need to take something special to school or if they have a day off.
- Allocate an area to display all of the wonderful artwork they will be bringing home. We have a wall in our house with rope and large clips. We rotate artwork on and off the clips. Once it comes off, we photograph it and recycle it if possible. This prevents the clutter in the garage. Wait until you get coupon codes for photo books and turn your child's art into a coffee table book.
- Make sure they have a good breakfast before going to pre-school.
I’m curious to know: What advice do you have for moms prepping for preschool?