Kindergarten can be a rough time for children. For those who haven’t experienced Pre-K education, it’s the first time they’re asked to learn in a school setting. Even if your child has been to Pre-K, the transition can be a little scary for first-time students.
Our team spoke with kindergarten teachers in Battle Creek to learn about ways you can help your child look forward to school.
Preparing for School
If you have a child who will be starting kindergarten in the near future, it’s important to set expectations in advance. Kathleen Doud, who teaches at Post-Franklin School, suggests, “Acknowledge your child’s fears. Read books with them about the first day of school fears. Bring your child to school before the first day and introduce them to their teacher.”
Katie Bender, another Kindergarten teacher at Post-Franklin, says, “Practice ABCs and 1-2-3’s at home, along with writing their name.” This can help your child feel prepared when they start their first lessons.
Your child might not enjoy school if they don’t feel like they’ve made any friends. Make sure to bring your child to open houses and encourage them to meet other children their age.
“Provide children with opportunities to interact with children in other social situations,” says Bethany Perry from Valley View Elementary. This can help your child feel more confident when it comes to making friends in the classroom.
Fear During the Year
As the year goes on, your child might tell you that they aren’t having a good time at school. Even if they’ve gotten off on the wrong foot, you can still help them enjoy their learning experience.
“Talk to them about positive school experiences,” says Elizebeth Rock from Dudley STEM School. When you shine a positive light on their daily learning, it can help shape how your child sees the classroom.
Sometimes children feel homesick during the day. “I have had parents put a picture of their family in the child’s backpack,” says Kathryn Tefft-Grimm from Dudley. “This way, the child has it to look at throughout the day.”
It can also be helpful to let your child know that the classroom is a safe place. “I have seen parents show children that they trust the teacher and identify them as a ‘safe’ person,” says Bethany Perry. This lets your child know that their teacher is someone they can turn to in a time of need.
After School Experiences
If your child is struggling to feel like school is comfortable for them, let them know that you’ll be there for them. Katy Bender suggests, “Let your child know that you will be there at the end of the day for them to talk all about their day.”
You can also make the end of the school day special. “I have seen parents make special plans, like going to the park after school,” Kathryn Tefft-Grimm says. This can help lift your child’s spirits if they get frightened during the day. It gives them something to look forward to.
In Good Hands
Kindergarten teachers are working hard to ensure that your child makes friends, feels safe, and loves learning. All of the teachers we spoke to utilize activities to make the classroom more comfortable for their students.
You might see classrooms singing, drawing pictures of their family, reading books, greeting each other, and more. These all help children feel more confident, and confidence can go a long way toward obtaining a lifetime of learning.
BCVision is moving Battle Creek forward by working with our community to provide resources that help them get the most out of their education. Kindergarten readiness is one of our main initiatives. Learn more about our initiatives and find out how you can get involved by reaching out to a team member. We look forward to sharing our vision for Battle Creek with you.