It’s that time of year, where you blink and summer has flashed before your eyes. School season is among us! Hopefully by this point, you’ve gotten some instruction and supply list from your kiddo’s teacher. While you’re looking over that list, it’s a great time for reflection. Do you and your child feel they are ready for school? Here are three things to keep in mind for the next few months while they discover this new step of their education ladder.
First and foremost, expectations are key. Take the time to sit down with your child and have a discussion. What are their expectations? What are yours? What should they expect? Though school is different from when you were their age, it is a great time to talk about your own experience with school.
The hardest part of getting ready for school is the change of routine. Right now is a great time to consider building a consistent routine. Routines help children build expectations for their new schedule. A suggestion for this could be creating a schedule, going over it with your student a few times, and posting it somewhere they can see it. And it is important to try to stick to the schedule as much as possible.
Getting your children school ready is a team sport. Communication is important. Checking in with your kiddo about what is going on in their classroom. A great time for this could be dinner or immediately after school. Try asking very specific and/or open-ended questions. So instead of asking, “Did you have fun at school today?” You could ask, “What is one fun thing you learned in the classroom today?”
This is a time to build their confidence with validation and support. In the long run, school is a way for your student to build some autonomy. They are going to figure out who they want to be. Try to be a guide
, as well as let them explore and problem solve. When working on skills or homework, you could try and be present, but give them three tries before you step into help. And when you see your kiddo putting in the effort, try to acknowledge their efforts.
Is it your child’s first time at school? Start practicing with San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum at Kindergarten Readiness Camp! The Museum will be building routines and expectations to help students prepare for their first year of school both academically and socially. Local resources like some San Diego City and County Libraries will also provide Kindergarten Readiness support.
Shannon Colgan is an Educator with a background in School Counseling and Psychology.