Humble ISD schools open their doors for the 2023-2024 school year on August 9. For some, it will be for the very first time. Starting kindergarten is an occasion for celebration and a few understandable jitters. Here are a few tips for ensuring a smooth start:
Read Books About Starting Kindergarten
A great way for parents to start the conversation about kindergarten is by reading books designed to address the topic. Clifford Goes to Kindergarten, The Night Before Kindergarten and The Pigeon Has to Go to School provide opportunities for discussion and understanding about what to expect, making it a fun and interactive way to ease anxieties.
Take a Tour
Take your child to visit their new school. Show them the classroom, playground, school office and restrooms. This will help your child become more acquainted with the new surroundings and reduce anxiety about the unknown. If possible, meet your child’s teacher ahead of time.
Help Them Make a Friend
Your child doesn’t have to go it alone. Children in the same neighborhood are zoned to the same schools. In Balmoral, that means kindergartners will attend either Groves or Ridge Creek elementary schools. See if you can set up a kindergarten meet-and-greet event before school starts. That way your child will know a few kids before school starts.
Practice Social Skills
Practice social scenarios with your child. Simple things such as introducing themselves, asking to play a game or share a toy and asking the teacher for help. This will give your child confidence in the classroom.
If you are nervous about your child’s first day of school, your child will be. Children often take cues from their parents and caregivers, so exhibiting confidence and optimism will help ease their fears.
Create a Morning Routine
Start creating a morning routine at least a week in advance. Have your child help make breakfast, let them decide what to wear and set aside time for a calming activity before you take them to school. This routine will help your child feel secure and ready for the day ahead.
Practice Saying Goodbye
Practicing brief periods of separation in the weeks leading up to the first day. Arrange playdates or short stays with relatives or close friends to help your kindergartener become more comfortable being away from home.
Saying Goodbye at the Door
On the first day of kindergarten don’t linger at the door. Put a smile on your face and say goodbye with a reminder of what time you will be picking them up. You can cry in the car. Don’t sneak away as that will cause even more anxiety.
Some kids transition seamlessly to kindergarten. Others need time to adjust. Be patient — separation anxieties are normal and will pass. Before you know it, they will be well on the way to a positive educational experience.