Your baby isn’t a baby anymore! Probably not for some time, but going to school? Where did the time go? Even if your child has been in daycare, the move to JK is a big change, so August is a great time to build up for the big day. And now that the TDSB rollout is complete, there will be 36,000 students enrolled in kindergarten this year!
Clothes shopping – take advantage of some of the back to school sales to make sure that you’ve got clothes that fit for all weather types. You’ll need to pack a change of clothes, just in case, and dress each day for the weather.
Practice Dressing Themselves – remember you won’t be there for any needed clothing changes, or to help in the bathroom, so the weeks leading up to school are a great time to practice zippers, buttons, etc. For solo bathroom missions especially, remember to opt for clothes that are easy for kiddos to manage themselves.
Shoes – you need indoor and outdoor running shoes, boots for wet weather. But that's nothing new is it, they are always in need of new shoes!
Backpack and lunchbox – how proud your little one will be to sport their new supplies! Do a few practice runs with the bag and box so that little one knows how to open/close, etc.
School supplies – you won’t need to purchase traditional school supplies, but it’s always nice to have a desk area at home where kids can “work”.
Bum Wiping – can not be overlooked. School means you’re not their to wipe their bums, so make sure they are comfortable doing it on their own.
Nap Weaning – full day JK means no nap, so if your child still needs their daytime ZZZs, practice cutting them out as school gets closer. That will mean adjustments of other regular daily schedules, like earlier dinner, bedtime, evening temper fits during the transition.
Discuss and practice good behaviour – talk about what will be important to remember about behaviour and what will be expected of them in school. They likely have already had exposure to discipline and rules outside your home, but in school it may be a little bit more strict that they’ve come to know in child care. Listening, Communication, Following Rules, Cooperation.
Hearing us talk about what they’ll need to know DS4 (always listening) piped in to share what HE has learned about behaving in school…
Don’t be mean. Behave. RESPECT – that one is very important he says, and it means being nice and behaving when you’re supposed to.
Sharing and getting along with others – good opportunity to talk about meeting new kids and the importance of sharing, taking turns and getting along nicely. If you’re child hasn’t been in daycare or around a lot of other children very much, practice interacting with others while you’re out at a playspace, at the park, or set up one of those overdue playdates with a friend that you’ve been meaning to get around to.
Visit the school – go check it out together so everyone knows what to expect. Talk about what the daily routine will be. Where it is, what the route is, take a look at the outside yard, talk about what to expect each day. If you already know that your child will be in a temp modular unit do to spacing issues at your school, tell them what that will be like. Familiarity helps. Your own routine may be different too with a different time and place for drop off, so it helps everyone anticipate their school mornings J
Be positive – you may be crushed that DD or DS is headed off to school, but remember, it’s a good thing, and if you’re not positive or excited about it, they won’t be either.
EXCITING TIMES!! GOOD LUCK!
What are your starting JK stories? Any other advice to share?
Photo: "Independent Child" by Anita Hart is licensed under CC BY 2.0