Today was our youngest childs kindy orientation day. I think I was more nervous than she was. Yes I have been on this journey 4 times before but each one of our children has been different and it has never ceased to tug at my heartstrings each time. So there will be tissues in my bag when it happens my watch will be looked at regularly throughout the day as I count down the hours.
In 11 weeks our girl will have her first official day of kindy and although I know that I can’t control everything I am aiming to support her and make her first day start and end a little smoother. As a Teacher I also understand some of the ways I can support my child more effectively.
Here are 5 things I know work from my experiences and observations:
1. Talk to your child about kindy
Making sure you have regular conversations about Kindy and what it will be like with your child can help them mentally prepare for the upcoming experience.
2. Be prepared
Making sure you get organised before you settle in with that glass of wine and the netflix remote is well worth the effort. Get prepared the night before by setting out the next days clothes , packing bags and packing morning tea plus making lunches.
Get up earlier than your son / daughter and get yourself ready so that you can focus on helping your child get ready.
3. Arrive earlier
Now this can be a real struggle especially when everyone hasn’t slept well the night before or your child / children are not cooperating. Leaving 5 – 10 minutes earlier gives you time to settle your child in and while they hang their bag up and transition into their morning routine without feeling rushed.
4. Don’t compare your child
Listening to other parents talk about their child or Seeing what young James or Matilda can do can have you comparing your own child’s progress to others. Before you start to panic and run home to sit for many hours making them perfect their name writing or repeating the alphabet over and over take a deep breathe and remember that children pass developmental milestones in a variety of ways and have different learning styles and strengths.
The important things that you can help your child learn before they start kindy are :
. Using the toilet & Washing / drying
their hands after
. Dressing themselves
. Opening their own drink bottle
. Blowing their nose & placing tissue in
5. Chat at the end of the day
As Monte Python said ; No one likes a spanish inquisition, especially at the end of a busy day.
Giving your child the opportunity to chat when they are ready can make a big difference. All children are different and some are happy to disclose their whole day within the first 5 minutes of the walk or drive home. Others need a little longer and will chat over a afternoon snack and drink.
As a Teacher I have heard many parents ask me what to do if their child won’t tell them about their day. I encourage them to ask their childs teacher to write a note in their childs diary about the day. This provides some information to begin a discussion with your child.
Is your child starting Kindy soon or are they completing their first year at Kindy? What are you looking forward too / concerned about ?