Image above courtesy Hans Lachmann, 1954.
It seems like only yesterday that you brought your little bundle home from the hospital. Now, it’s reached the time when your first-born is entering “BIG school“.
Whether they have spent time in preschool or not, it’s a big milestone in their lives. No matter how much information you’ve armed yourself with, you’re still nervous, wondering about the little things they’ll have to navigate without you.
I was in your shoes this time last year, so I want to share a few tips that stuck with me on that first big day.
Check with the Frisco Public Library or invest in a couple of books to read each night leading up to their first day. There are some great books out there that will help to instill positive thoughts and excitement about their new school year.
Bookstores, besides Target and Walmart, stock up on books like that this time of year. Some of them include favorite characters like Curious George and Clifford.
Here are a few recommendations:
- The night before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
- Kindergarten Here I Come by D J Steinberg
- Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee
- Curious George First Day of School by H A Rea
- Clifford’s First School Day by Norman Bridewell
Make School A Familiar Location
The weekend before, take a walk, bike ride, or drive by the school a couple of times to get them used to the idea that this is where they’ll be starting a new, fun chapter. Play on the playground and talk about all of the fun times they’ll have there this year.
My daughter kept asking “Mom, is Kate or Sophia or Cameron going to be there?” In other words, “Will I know anyone in my class?”
The teachers in Frisco ISD do a great job of helping the kids get to know one another through group activities, partner pairings, and table assignments. In no time at all, they become familiar to one another and before you know it, they’re playing tag on the playground at recess.
Take Pictures (a LOT of them)
The first day of kindergarten makes a great photo opportunity so bring the camera! (As if we needed to tell you that!) Don’t hold back, and go ahead be cheesy! It’ll be fun to look back on, and a hundred percent worth building in a little extra time on that first morning of school. You may wish to choose a spot where you can take the first-day photo every year.
I loved that first day. Seeing all the moms, dads, and grandparents emerge from local houses and parked cars, coffee mug still in hand, making the trek into school to settle their little ones in. Snap a few more pics of your child in their desk, and maybe one with their teacher (you can take another one on the last day!)
Settling Into Their New Classroom
In Frisco ISD, parents are permitted to accompany their kiddos into school on the first day. For Kindergarteners, they often allow parents to escort them inside on the second day as well, to give the child (and their parents!) piece of mind. Rest assured, the teachers and administration will be lined up around the halls and at each entranceway every day to be sure no one is unsure where to go!
Kindergarten teachers are very familiar with the emotions of these littlest Elementary students, and very intentional about hand-holding them every step of the way. They will hug them as needed, tie their shoes, help them open their yogurt at lunchtime… They will handhold them as much as they can in those early days, all the while also equipping them to become more independent and ready to manage things on their own.
Make Them Smile at Lunch
Most schools ask that families not take part in lunch at school until the Kindergarteners settle in for a couple of weeks. So why not place a cute note in their lunchbox each day to light that warm fuzzy glow inside and remind them of the love waiting at home later. A simple smiley face, or love heart on a post-it can do wonders.
Prepare for your own emotions. I thought I had it all covered and while I believe a decent cry is good for the soul, I didn’t think it would happen to me.
After dropping my daughter off at the classroom and both of us giving a final confident hug, I walked out to find lots of moms in tears in the hallway. I went home feeling fine, but once I walked back into the house, the realization hit me; WOW, she’s kind of all grown up now, and the floodgates opened.
Let it happen, its only natural. Then, plan a coffee date with another Kinder mom for mid-morning to distract from the worry.
I promise you, Kindergarten is a fun place and they’re in good hands with the wonderful teachers and staff of Frisco ISD. At the end of the day, get ready for that sweet reunion with your little one, and have the biggest hug waiting for them!!
Good luck to all you first time Kinder parents out there and cherish the memories forever!