This post is sponsored by KinderCare but all opinions & story are my own.
Is my child ready for kindergarten? I think every parent with a 4 or 5 year old has asked themselves this question – myself included. We’re about to make the jump into the ‘real world’ of school this year, and I’m equal parts excited, anxious, and a mix of sad and proud that my first baby is already going to kindergarten. It’s a huge step for any family to have a child entering school and I’m especially feeling the fear of the unknown. But I’m also feeling confident in her ability to adjust and adapt because we’ve done several things over the past few years to ensure Quinn is ready for kindergarten (and beyond). Here’s how I know she’s ready for KDG + a couple things you can do to make sure your child is prepared for kindergarten:
We’ve talked about it
Beyond just “you’re going to love Kindergarten”, we’re trying to be really specific about the new friends she’ll make, the fact that she’s familiar with the playground already, that she’ll be eating in a cafeteria, etc.
What you can do: Be as specific as possible about the new school and what the day will look like for your child. Try reading a book about Kindergarten or having your child talk to a friend or family member who has recently gone to Kindergarten to make the whole process a little less foreign.
We visited her new school
While there hasn’t been a formal Welcome night, we did visit the Elementary School during Conferences to pick up her entry paperwork. It was SUPER intimidating for her to walk up the stairs to her soon-to-be school but I’m glad we did it early (9 months early!) so she’ll get to visit and become familiar several times before the big First Day of School.
What you can do: Schedule a visit (or multiple, if need be). Some kids really need to feel confident and secure (who doesn’t?!) in a new situation so time spent in the environment in advance can really help.
She’s Done The Full-Day School Thing
While I understand that kindergarten will be different than the full-day preschool she attends a few days a week now, I feel good about the fact that she can hang all day and is used to a place that isn’t home for 8 hours in a row.
What you can do: Enroll your child in a daycare or preschool program, even if it’s just a couple days a week. KinderCare is definitely worth a look – they’ve been around since 1969 and now have over 1,300 centers across 38 states. I wanted an environment for my kids that was warm, caring, responsive, and welcoming and KinderCare offers that and more. Knowing that my kids are being well-cared for is 100% non-negotiable and the only way I’m able to focus on getting work done while they’re away. KinderCare is focused on serving the needs of today’s families so that children can grow into confident learners, from crib to classroom and beyond. Preschool is just the first step of an entire academic career, and it’s important to find a place for your child that works for your family so you can feel confident about their care and their education.
Schedule a visit with your local KinderCare here or you can visit KinderCare’s website to learn more about their educational philosophy and the variety of programs (infant, toddler, part-time, full-time, summer camp, etc).
She’s Familiar with Other Adults
One of the most important things to me as a mom, and one of the reasons preschool has been so important, is to make sure my child has been exposed to lots of other kids and adults who aren’t her family. By enrolling her in preschool and other activities like swimming, dance, and gymnastics, Quinn has met a ton of children and has been exposed to other adults in positions of authority, so she knows that she is supposed to listen to them – and, thankfully, does most of the time ;).
What you can do: Whether it’s preschool or a group activity or class (soccer, t-ball, gymnastics, swimming, a church group, a camp, music class, ANYTHING) it’s good to put your kids in a situation where they have to listen to someone other than mom or dad.
She’s Socially Ready
From her experiences in preschool, I know she’s socially ready to rock kindergarten. Sharing, verbalizing needs, solving problems with peers, and asking for help are all skills she’s learned by spending time in preschool.
What you can do: Make sure your child has plenty of opportunities to spend time with other kids. Preschool has been a great way to do that for our family.