Really Great Kindergarten Questions

Updated on August 11, 2012
A.M. asks from Oskaloosa, KS
8 answers

I must have just never noticed (because mine wasn't going to kindergarten!) all the great kindergarten questions that pop up around this time of year, until this year. so now i know about dropoff, worst case scenarios, and pre-visits (just the questions i've glanced through this morning). i also know (already) about the stupid mom-can't-quit-being-depressed-but-putting-on-a-happy-face-for-him stuff - UGH! i took a couple hours off of work that morning so that i can go have some ice cream and mope!! lol!

anything else i should know about kindergarten? anything that surprised new kindergarten moms? Mine starts Thursday and I'm sooo dreading it...with a giant smile on my face of course! :)

Thanks so far ladies! yeah i have to say, i know deep down that 99% of this is just ME lol. he's my one-and-only and i'm a HUGE cryer on a normal basis, so this is kinda getting to me ;) but it's a good freak-out, like you said ariamom, bittersweet. and we do have the meet-and-greet monday night so i think that will help me too. when i think about it, what i've seen so far from his teachers/staff have been excellent.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

If your child has been in daycare, it will be a breeze for you and for him. I just framed it to my child as he's going to a new school to make new friends. It was easy. The only thing I really missed was that in daycare at pickup time, I could ask the teacher how his day way, what he did, etc, every day. In K, I only learned what my child decided to tell me because even if you pick up, you don't see the teacher. Often, all I heard about was what they did in gym class that day LOL. So that was an adjustment.

And if you feel sad, that's ok of course - everyone feels what they feel. But really, I was excited for my little one and for his new adventure. How could I NOT be excitedfor him, when he was so excited. I was a little sentimental about a new phase of life, he's growing up so fast, but not sad. Just a different perspective.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

In my experience as a parent, volunteer and teacher, I have to say that parents have a much harder time than the children. We have taken "helicopter parenting" to a very high level, and if we pass that on, our kids get the feeling they cannot do anything on their own. But our job is to give them roots but also to give them wings! So we gotta let them fly!

The hard parts you and other posts have already identified - letting go, having them walk into the building alone, riding the bus alone, and parents not getting to chit chat with the teachers all the time. And 90% of the time, kids say that "recess was fun" and that's it. So we freak out because we don't know everything single thing they did.

The good news is, the schools are staffed with professionals and they just aren't going to let 400 parents in the building every day because absolutely nothing will get done. The children need to lean on their teachers and turn to them as educators as well as authority figures - there can be no structure, and no learning, if the place is full of parents. And kids will get the idea that they cannot function without parents there. We don't really want them to have that feeling, do we?

Also, learning to let go and not having a blow-by-blow report is good preparation for when they are teens, when they will tell you NOTHING!

Also, parents do not realize how much work goes into teaching - before your child arrives, and after your child leaves, that teacher is writing lesson plans and assessments, going over the children's work, preparing interesting displays, buying supplies (often with her own money), sending emails to parents who want to know how little Becky is doing, and dealing with learning disabilities and health challenges. She has to write emails to parents whose kids peed in their pants to be sure another change of clothes came in, and deal with some kid who just can't focus in a group because he's always had the TV or video game all to himself. A kindergarten teacher friend of mine has 6 kids with life-threatening allergies, one with bipolar disorder, 1 with ulcerative colitis, plus all the learning issues, autism and focus problems. She has kids who, when told it's time to sit on the rug for circle time, say "No way. I don't have to do what you say, and I'm going to the lego table."

So, I'd say that if you hear nothing, things are great! If your child tells you nothing, that's fine! You should get stuff in the backpack although more and more schools put stuff on line on a "virtual backpack".

As a teacher, I can tell you I just don't have time to talk to every parent to tell them what colors little Jacob used on his picture, who he played with or whether he finished his snack! I'd LIKE to do that, but I cannot.

You should get things ahead of time like info on lunch, snacks, bathroom breaks, etc. - teachers have done this before and they know parents need to know. But it's done in a group on orientation day or via email.

Try to be patient and really, you'll get the info you need in due time. Meantime, try to CELEBRATE this milestone in your child's life!

Parents who understand this, who support this, and who trust their parent enough that their child can function and separate well - those are the great parents!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

The one thing I learned is that the parents are WAY more stressed than their children.

We have to hold it together and only make it a positive experience for our children. Our children do fine, it is the weeping patents outside that need the help.

No preconceived ideas, no comparisons to our own experiences. Allow our children to have their own experiences and grow.

I always suggest after dropping your kindergartner off, to go and have breakfast with a friend or your spouse to talk it all out.

You can survive this. Remember, these teachers are professionals, they love children and they know what works.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

After all the apprehension of my oldest starting kindergarten last year I look back at the tone of questions I had. How do they handle lunch time, how will she remember her ID number. What about riding the bus home - how do they make sure she's on the right one? Will she sit still and be patient - very hard to accomplish at home.

What surprised me the most about the whole Kindergarten experience is how well thought out and put together the school and the teachers were. How so well organized they were that my daughter had the routine down pat by the end of the first week. I know a lot of that depends on the school/school district but I think I was just amazed that I was able to send my daughter off to school for the first time and she handled it better than I and I went through 18+ years of school (2 college degrees).

I was much more emotional when my daughter finished kindergarten than the first day - very bittersweet

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answers from San Francisco on

My first three kids went off to kindergarten with no problems. I was sad but more excited for them. My fourth starts this Monday and he too is super confident about going to school. No preschool so this is his first experience. I think I will be a little more emotional this time since he's my last. What really got to me? Kindergarten graduation. I had the hardest time with that. I guess it is because in kindergarten they are still so little but the other grades are the big time, individual desks, etc. I still can't walk past the little ceremony every year even though my kids aren't in them, hearing those little voices sing moving on songs just kills me! I cannot even imagine how bad I'm going to be at the end of this year. Lord help me now! Oh, and yes, my oldest has already graduated high school and it didn't affect me the way kindergarten graduation did! I'm such a sap!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Many schools do not allow parents to step foot in the school. The principal greeted us cordially at the door, then asked a teacher of aide to walk him to the cafeteria where his class was lining up. So be prepared that you may not get to walk him to his class. I'm sure it makes the beginning of the first day go much smoother, as teachers dont have to deal with parents who wont leave, and kids who cry will get over it much faster!

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answers from San Francisco on

The biggest change from preschool to kindergarten was how much less you hear from the teacher. It went from daily reports to one conference and two report cards! (Well, plus the times he got in trouble)
The S. biggest change was that nobody makes sure your child washes their hands in kindergarten. He was sick...alot!

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answers from Savannah on

I have a little list of questions for meet the teacher day, that I'll bring along just in case they aren't addressed while I'm there. Some, I got ideas from other peoples' comments, some are things I just want to know...
1) What time is lunch, and how long do they have? (Hadn't thought of this until someone else's post, but what time lunch is does affect would I'd serve for breakfast....and how long they have does help me have a better idea on what to pack)
2) After school has started, can parents come visit for lunch every now and then?
3) Do they have snack during the day, or no? (If so, I would want one packed for the first I should ask that ahead of time)
4) Will there be communication from the teachers in a folder, or email, or...?
5) Volunteer opportunities: how can I assist? Since I have a 2 year old home sometimes, I'd like to assist without being present sometimes: cutting things out, or preparing things for crafts, etc? Some days I could take my 2 year old to mother's day out, but I'd like to know if the teacher needs (or even wants) help from moms.

That's all I've got. For moms with the YOUNG 5s though, they may want to know if there's a restroom nearby or how that would work. My son is an older 5 so he won't have a problem waiting for "scheduled" breaks, but if he was 6 months younger I may want to know that if he needed to go, he could.

1 mom found this helpful
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