Monday, July 26, 2010

My sister always reminds me about my first week of kindergarten…how I innocently brought home a boy from school who had no idea which bus he was to ride! It was not so different from bringing home a lost puppy or kitty, which I was VERY familiar with doing. I suppose this was my first attempt at Social Work!

There are steps to take to prepare both you and your child (not to mention the entire family) for your kindergartener’s first day of school.
1. Make sure your child knows his\her full name, address, phone number, as well as your names.
2. Literally walk him/her through getting on the bus, or out at the school, and then go through the end of the day routine too.
3. Make sure they know their bus number.
4. Visiting the school building, classrooms, restrooms, playground, etc. is a great idea too.
5. Take time to meet the teachers, assistants, bus drivers, cooks…anyone who might be someone they have to approach at school for help.

Doing these tasks may also help your child to act more independently and feel more confident.

Try to get your child into the “school routine” as quickly as possible, e.g. getting up at the same time, having a set bedtime (one where the child gets 8+ hours of sleep), etc.

On my eldest son’s first day of kindergarten, I guess I had prepared him well. He leaped out of the car never looking back, running in as fast as he could, happy as the HUGE Pooh backpack that grinned back at me. I wished I’d felt that happy! I guess I was just being a bit sentimental.

Here’s to a safe, happy, healthy start to many firsts!

Contributed by Carol Pool, PCAIN Prevention Education Specialist

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