What Your Child Needs To Know Before Starting Kindergarten

I don’t know how it happened but my daughter will be starting kindergarten this September. But she’s still just a baby, right?

Like most parents, I’m sure my child is practically a genius, starting a new school and style of learning will be a big transition. So I’ve been looking up some of the things that might prepare her for the first year of proper schooling.

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According to the Vancouver School Board, here are some areas and habits to think about:

Getting your child ready to learn

  • Gets 9 – 10 hours of sleep at night (bedtime by 8:00 pm)
  • Can be read to daily
  • Eats nutritious snacks and a healthy breakfast
  • Recognizes their own name
  • Is able to have a conversation about the day, likes, interests, and understands feelings
  • Can ask questions and explore new ideas
  • Is able to sit for 10-15 minutes to listen to a story or join a group discussion
  • Takes part in daily physical activities

Helping your child be social

  • Can play cooperatively
  • Takes turns and shares
  • Names feelings (eg. happy, sad, frustrated)
  • Has experiences playing with others of the same age (teams, play dates)
  • Can wait for their turn
  • Understands and follows simple instructions

Let your child learn independence

  • Can use the washroom, including washing and drying hands
  • Can dress and undress themselves without help (inc. buttons or zippers)
  • Hangs up coat, puts on shoes
  • Cleans up after themselves

Starting in a new school, meeting new people, and having new teachers can be a lot to process, so I’m going to ensure that my daughter feels supported and safe. It’s also important to leave plenty of time during the bedtime routine, which is when she seems most chatty, for talking about feelings how her day went, and if she has any worries.

Have your kids already gone through this? I’d love to hear your tips to making this process as smooth as possible.

1 Comment

  1. Michael Kwan

    February 12, 2020 at 11:10 am

    You can safely assume that she’ll come home with most (all?) of her lunch uneaten at the end of the school day. I think you said she’s already in daycare, so the social element won’t be too much of a shift for her, but there will likely be more structure. Does she still nap? Most kindergartens have some form of quiet time (my daughter’s class calls it “dream time,” which is also “silent reading time” for kids who don’t want to “dream” during that time) in the afternoon.

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