Starting Kindergarten Questions

Updated on July 30, 2010
D.W. asks from Glendale, AZ
8 answers

Next Monday will be the first day of Kindergarten for my oldest daughter and it seems that both of us are getting a little jittery. She is ready and I am sure that she will thrive on the new material and find new friends. She has been in day care, so being away is not new for her. I am pretty sure that we will be fine in a week or so, but between now and then are a lot of unknowns and changes. Can the moms who have been there please share some advice and things to think about?
Thank you very much!

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for taking the time to write back. Today we did go to the meet-the-techer event. She was very excited about it and could hardly contain herself. After meeting her very nice teacher, we introduced her to the after-school care givers and looked around some more. She said that she was still nervous and had another question for the teacher. So we went back, clarified and left again. After that she said that she was ok. I know I will use some of the tips below! Thank you again!

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answers from Phoenix on

To lessen anxiety, visit the school before school starts. Walk around campus even if it is just in the front. Buy a new backpack, new outfit. Get some books at the library or buy some at a book store about starting Kindergarten and the books are really helpful in explaining what they can expect when they go. On the first day of school send a special token in her backpack and when you give it to her, kiss it and place it in her hand. Tell her to put it in her backpack in a special pocket and when she feels nervous, she can reach in and squeeze it to think of you. I still feel sad when my kids start in a new grade after I have had them home all summer, but these little things help them. I hope this helps as it has helped us.

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answers from San Francisco on


I taught for first grade for eleven years. See if you can visit the school and more specifically the teacher and her classroom before the first day. Spend only a few minutes, the teacher will be busy preparing but I know that by spending a few minutes with families I alleviated a lot of jittery parents and kids.

You can also go to the library and check out many books about going to kindergarten. A good one is Ms. Bindergarten Goes to Kindergarten. Talk to her about what she saw in her real classroom and what the book looks like.

Is it a full day kindergarten? My middle son just finished first grade. He still does not eat enough at lunch time because he is interested in playing. Make sure that you pack items that are easy for your daughter to open so that they can be consumed quickly.

I think if you act as if this is the most exciting event she will eventually share your attitude. Good luck! Please let her know that teachers get nervous too; they want the year to be great and the children to be happy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

You will easily drop over $100 on Kindergarten school supplies if you wait till the last minute - we made that mistake with our first child in K. Pick up the circular ads for: Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Staples, Office Max, and the grocery stores. Then scan the ads for the school supplies. You'll find that if you shop around now, you'll save a TON!

Kindergartners these days have homework - be prepared for it and set a daily schedule so she can earn the prizes at school for doing it. She will now be in a peer pressure situation...don't want her to feel left out.

Pack her lunch. The schools charge ridiculous amounts for the grease and carb laden food they serve (our school is $2.75/day!). I can pack his lunch for 75 cents or less. You will save money and she will be healthier.

Good luck! It may be harder on you than her.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

First, do everything in your power to sound optimistic and happy about kindergarten. The less anxious you are, the less she will be.

Take a walk around the school now to get her familiar with it. You may not be able to get on campus, but at least look through gates, peer into windows, etc. Take her picture next to the school's sign. Make it exciting, like wow, look how cool this place will be.

Also be sure to go to the back to school night. There should be an intro night where kids get to meet their teachers and see the classroom.

When you pack her snack (or lunch if it's full day), put a short little note inside (depending on her reading level) that is encouraging/happy. I agree with the teacher who says not to overpack food. Kids get extremely short recesses and lunch breaks now, so they will want to use most of the time for play. Pack small amounts of foods that will be easy to eat quickly (thinner sandwiches rather than bulky ones, GoGurts rather than cups of yogurt, etc.).

Also, be ready for the onslaught of homework. Don't mention this to your daughter, but you will be dealing with a lot in kindergarten. Rethink your weekdays and weekends to determine good times for fitting in homework demands. This can be extremely critical if she's involved in any sports or classes that will limit homework time.

Think positive. Kindergarten is the start of some wonderful times for her and you may also make some new friends (parents of her friends) in the process.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I checked out some library books yesterday called "Kindergarten Here I come" and "Henry's first 100 days of Kindergarten". (We have also read the Ms. Bindergarten books). My daughter really liked them as she is getting ready to start this year too. Search your library's catalog by subject for "Kindergarten" or ask a childrens librarian for help. A visit would also be great if you can arrange it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Today was my son's first day of kindergarten and I could hardly fall asleep last night because I was so apprehensive! I got books on the library about school and the first day of school and read them to him. We laid out his clothes the night before (and mine) and talked about how he needs to get dressed as soon as he wakes up and then come in to eat breakfast. He did exactly what I said!

While we were at Borders Books I saw a book about a Little Racoon's first day of school (I don't remember the title) and the Mommy kissed his hand so he could have her love with him all day and put his hand up to his heart if he needed to feel her love. He he kissed his Mommy's hand so she wouldn't miss him either. It was cute, and my son wanted us to do that today. He asked me if we can do it every day :) Good luck. Neither of us cried (I for sure thought I would after I left, but when it came down to it I was more excited for him than I was sad).

We talked a lot before about what to expect and about how he felt. When he told me he was scared and didn't want to go (he said that several times), I agreed that it can be scary but that he makes friends so well that I knew he'd make a lot of friends. That made him smile to think about friends. I reminded him of how scared he was at the beginning of preschool, but that he made so many friends. I told him how excited I was for him to start kindergarten because of how much fun he had had at preschool. I could tell he felt much more confident when we remembered his previous positive experiences with preschool or other new social situations, like when he started soccer.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I actually took my children to go visit the school and show them where the kindergarten playground and their class was a couple of days before the school year started. Even though both of my children had been in preschool, they still cried when I went to drop them off at school. Giving them something to hold onto for me until I came to pick them up after school did help a little to reassure them that I was not going to leave them there forever. They did adapt to their new teacher, new class and all the other new students fairly quickly though. Our children are able to read our emotions really well so, although it will be emotional dropping them off at school for the first time, try to act as positive and confident that everything will be okay for them, as much as possible so that hopefully they'll feel that too.

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answers from Dallas on

I didn't read all of the responses, but something you may think about is that your anxiety level my actually cause your daughter to have more anxiety. Just play it cool when you are talking to her about it...freak out when you are alone!

I think she will do fine!

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