Schools say this time of year they are flooded with questions from parents wondering if their child is ready for kindergarten. Schools say all too often parents are worried about the wrong things.
Most of the time parents worry their little one doesn’t yet know their numbers, letters, or how to read well enough. Samara Cohen, a kindergarten teacher at Conant Elementary in Bloomfield Hills says don’t worry.
“I think parents get nervous with academics. I think that is something children are ready to learn when they step into the doors of kindergarten and teachers are ready to help children where they are at,” said Cohen.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can teach your child to make their first day of school as pleasant as possible. They are little lessons that can make a big difference in how stressful school is.
“Help your child so they know which lunchbox is theirs, which backpack is theirs, they know which shoes are theirs,” said Cohen.
Velcro shoes can also lead to a better day at school. Imagine having twenty to thirty kids in your care that don’t quite yet know how to tie their shoes.
“Tying shoes takes a lot of fine motor and hand skills and that usually develops in the next year or two,” said Cohen.
Taking your child to the school playground a few days before the start of the year will make sure part of their day is something they know. It can ease anxiety as they get used to being away from home and you at a new place with new people.
“Talk about it. Talk about how you are going to be gone maybe longer than you usually are, but just because you are gone doesn’t mean you are not together still. You are thinking about each other the whole day.”