Monday, August 15, 2011

Advice for Parents of Kindergarteners


Thank you for all of the practical and fun advice that you shared with me last week about making a smooth transition into the world of elementary school.

We are very excited about what lies ahead.

Tomorrow is Kindergarten orientation...and then we'll spend time together just being a family right up until Guy makes the leap into Kindergarten!

Here is a synopsis of what you shared in the comment section.
I'm sorry if I miss anyone's advice...I'm sort of in a rush to start our vacation!
But I have been writing your advice on my dry-erase board all week as a reminder to myself of what I want to be sure to do!

ADVICE FOR PARENTS

1.  VOLUNTEER AT SCHOOL as much as possible.  This was the number one answer by far.  Same thing that my Mama told me, so I know that's right!

2.  GIVE THE CHILDREN A FATHER'S BLESSING to go back to school.  Mom needs one too.

3.  PACK LUNCHES THE NIGHT BEFORE even allowing your kindergartener to pack their own.  Bento box lunces come highly recommended.

4.  HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE with times clearly posted and reminders about what comes next (aka a checklist). Also have the children get dressed first, before doing other morning tasks.

5.  HAVE A SPECIAL BACK TO SCHOOL MEAL/PARTY/FEAST or a special breakfast.  When I was in YW, we made our breakfast days ahead of time and froze them in ziploc bags. On the first day, we had breakfast already made.

6.  WALK THEM TO THE BUS STOP or school if possible AND DON'T BE LATE picking them up...ever!

7.  PROVIDE AN AFTER SCHOOL SNACK for them to enjoy and allow them to unwind a bit.  School takes a lot out of the little ones so they need to decompress too.  Then homework comes before other activities.

8.  TAKE PICTURES OF THE KIDS ON THE FIRST (or second) DAY OF SCHOOL.

9.  JOIN YOUR CHILD FOR LUNCH or when you can, later in the school year, GO TO CLASS with them.  My dad took a day off of work every year and went to school with us.  He sat in class and even participated in lessons. It was the best thing ever!  And he really knew what was going on and showed us that he cared.

10.  SNEAK NOTES INTO THEIR BACK PACKS.

11.  CREATE A BRAG BOARD or place where they can hang their papers for you and Dad to see and discuss with them.  The photo at the top of this post shows the little station that I set up about a month ago.  I just nailed some clipboards to the wall by our garage door.  There is one for each member of the family.  It's a place to display the work that each child did that day, papers that need to be signed and return, and honey-do lists! :) No biggie.

12.  READ BOOKS TO GET THEM READY:  The Kissing Hand (Thanks, Stephani!), The Night Before Kindergarten, Berenstein Bears Go to School, School Days, and Countdown to Kindergarten are some of my favorites.

13.  HAVE A PASSING THE TORCH PARTY:  Montserrat gave me a great idea to have a "pass the torch" party where my oldest will ceremoniously pass the responsibility of oldest sibling down to Scarlett who will now be the oldest at home during the day. This might be a fun/special tradition to make sure that everyone feels needed and important.

14.  PRACTICE RAISING YOUR HAND, SAYING YOUR NAME/ADDRESS, RIDING THE BUS.  Since Guy will ride the bus, I have printed out his bus route and driven it once, so it will be more familiar for him on the first day.

15.  HAVE FAITH IN THEIR ABILITIES AND LET GO.  Kindergarten is harder on the parents for sure...Learning to let go and watching them make their own way is another part of parenthood...Enjoy it!  And embrace it! 

Some of this advice you've heard before, but it's good to know that it's not brain-surgery sending your kids off to school.  Just take care of the important stuff and show love, and we'll be good to go!

Now to announce the winner of the sweet little owl from I SEW LUCKY.

NEW Girly Girl Plush Owl

Random.org chose comment #17...Jeff and ReAnn...who are also sending their first-born off to Kindergarten this year!  Woohoo!  Please email me ReAnn so I can make sure you get your prize!  Thanks again to everyone for entering.

I'll be a little sparse this week, but having fun enjoying my family.  Good luck to everyone as we prepare for the upcoming school year!

7 comments:

  1. What a great list of suggestions. You have good readers!

    =)

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  2. Well I'm off to Iceland for a 2 week educational genealogical trip...should be fun. Celebrate this exciting achievement-one of many to come.

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  3. A great list of suggestions whether you're sending your child to kindergarten or high school. Not that I'm in denial that I have a high schooler or anything. :)

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  4. This could also be entitled "Parents of a 1st grader". I am having a harder time with 1st grade than with kindergarten! The thought of my 6 year old going for the whole day without me is just weird!! But she will be great and we'll all surive.=) http://bellesbazaar-heather.blogspot.com/

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  5. Thanks for putting this all into one post for us all, I know it'll come in handy when my oldest heads off to kindergarten in five years.

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  6. What a great list! I will have to do these in the next couple weeks before my oldest heads off to kindergarten!

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  7. love reading your blog!

    suggestion for #6, have a backup plan, just incase.
    when my oldest started school i had no plan. never thought i'd have to wait for a train. she was totally freaked out by the time got there. (understandably)
    lesson learned!
    keep inspiring us!

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