Starting Kindergarten is an exciting step for your child and your family, but it can also be a challenging process as well. It can mean a whole new class, a different curriculum and more time spent away from family.
However, enrolling in a Kindergarten program, like our program at Aspire, can greatly benefit a child’s learning and development, and help them support their transition into primary school.
So how can you best prepare your child for starting Kindergarten at Aspire?
1. Establish a consistent routine at home
Setting a regular morning and evening routine will help your child feel more prepared for their first day of Kindergarten. A daily routine has a range of benefits for children and their learning and development, and they are less prone to find changes stressful.
Firstly, set a consistent bedtime to help your child get a good night’s sleep, and allow them to wind down and relax before they go to bed. At this age, children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night, so it’s important to stick to a regular bedtime routine. In the morning, leave plenty of time to get dressed, eat breakfast, and help them pack their bag for the day. Setting a routine of getting ready and having consistent mealtimes throughout the day will mean they are on a similar schedule to what they will follow at Kindergarten.
Start this 3 or 4 weeks before they begin Kindergarten, so they are familiar with this routine, and you can adjust the time to get ready if needed.
2. Make the most of any orientations or room transitions
Starting Kindergarten can be a big change for your child, whether they are completely new to the centre or transitioning into a new room. When you enrol in a Kindergarten program like our program at Aspire, you will need to complete orientations before your child starts. These orientations are an important step to help your child familarise themselves with the centre and their surroundings and begin building relationships with the management team and educators.
It is also an opportunity to find out exactly what they will need for the first day, such as lunchboxes, drink containers or a change of clothes. It is crucial as a parent to read over any information you are provided to ensure you are prepared for your child’s first day.
If your child is already enrolled at the centre and transitioning into a Kindergarten room, it’s just as important to support your child with these transitions and follow the advice of the room leaders when your child is going through this change. Communicate with your child so they feel more at ease with this change, and ensure you have all the necessary things to set them up for success.
3. Practice reading and writing with your children
If you haven’t already, get in the habit of reading every day with your child. Read aloud to them and get them to read back to you, even if they’re just interpreting some of the pictures in the book. A trip to the local library to borrow books can also be a fun family outing and allows them to pick from a big selection of books, without having to buy something new all the time.
Practicing their writing and letter recognition is also beneficial in helping them prepare for Kindergarten. Have your child practice writing their name and things they like such as their favourite colour, animal, or food. Their writing doesn’t need to be perfect, but regular practice will help them feel more confident with their learning before they transition into Kindergarten.
4. Encourage independence
Children who can care for themselves and their things will feel more confident at Kindergarten, and there are many simple ways you can support their independence as a parent. Encourage your child to practice personal hygiene by using the bathroom on their own and washing their hands. Have them to practice dressing themselves and putting on their jacket, socks, and shoes, as well as packing and unpacking their own backpack.
These things will support them in being classroom ready and help them identify their own belongings at Kindergarten as well.
5. Get your child excited about Kindergarten!
And lastly, it’s important as a parent to be positive and get your child excited about starting Kindergarten. Talk to your child about what they will do at Kindergarten, things they will learn and the friends they will make. If you’re attending a new Kindergarten centre for the first time, then even drive past it on your route home to build your child’s familiarity with their new environment.
Positive encouragement will greatly help your child to feel more settled and excited about their first day at Kindergarten.
At Aspire, we are passionate about supporting your child in their transition to Kindergarten through positive learning experiences and activities. To learn more about our Aspire 3- and 4-year-old Kindergarten program click here.