Welcome to Kindergarten!
Skills to Practice
Have your child practice these skills throughout the summer to prepare for school.
Fine Motor Skills
Literacy and Phonemic Awareness
Speaking and Listening
Be prepared! Don’t take it personally that they are not their normal, pleasant selves. Stay calm and assure them that you know they’re getting used to so many new things and that can make our brains and bodies tired. Remind them it’s okay to feel this way! Don’t plan too much for after school/weekends for a bit. Give them a lot of down time to rest and relax.
Try to avoid general questions like, "How was your day?" but instead ask questions specific to what you know about their day. Use communication from the teacher to ask about specific activities or content they're learning. Ask about friends, social time, interactions with adults...focus on things other than just the academics.
Ask questions like:
There are instances where important information needs to be shared with the teacher prior to a conference. This would be any critical health information (allergies, medical needs), recent major family changes that would impact the child’s mood/ability to focus (divorce, death, move), special academic or behavioral needs. Again, email is the best way to communicate this information at the start of the year.
School should be a partnership between the teacher and families! Stay involved in what’s going on in the classroom by talking to your child daily, making sure to read all correspondence from the teachers/school, ask for clarification on things that feel confusing. Look at work that comes home and talk to your child about what they were learning on the assignment. If possible, offer to volunteer in the classroom or building. Get to know the other parents in class as well as the other staff in the building. Reach out to the specials teachers and introduce yourself, share something your child loves about their class, offer to volunteer your time, or simply encourage them!
This is a great question and one that might look a bit different for each teacher. At the start of the school year it’s best to email the teacher with important information about your child. That way they can read and save it to refer back to. Try to avoid sharing this information in person at back tos school events or drop off/pick up as teachers are often distracted by multiple responsibilities and can’t fully attend to the important information. As the year progresses, your child’s teacher will likely let you know the best way to communicate with them!
Notify the teacher and office staff via email or a written note about what the change will be. Make sure to also communicate the change to your child, but don’t rely on the child to tell the teacher. Teachers need to know from the parent/caregiver about the change.
There are multiple places you can get the information you need! The district website contains information that is relevant to all kindergarten families in the district. Each school has a website with information specific to their building and your child’s teacher also has a website. Each school manages distributing news and information a bit differently but in general you can expect emails and paper flyers from the school about upcoming activities or information. Many classrooms or schools have social media pages to highlight activities from the classroom as well! Your child’s teacher can give you more information if that pertains to your child’s class.
2-3 weeks before school begins, start preparing.
Things to consider:
The district has put together a “Skills to Practice” document for all kindergarten families with many ideas about how to best prepare your child.
School is hard work and keeps them busy all day long, so their little bodies are worn out as they’re adjusting to this new phase of life.
Common behaviors are:
increased emotion (easily upset or frustrated)
excitement about school
talking a lot to share everything about their day
an increased curiousity about what's going on around them
Be patient with your child and yourself! It will take a few weeks for everyone to adjust to kindergarten!