Getting ready for kindergarten - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 12-17-2014, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Question Getting ready for kindergarten

When we had kids, originally we thought we would homeschool. However, both of us need to continue to work for the time being, and so . . . I'm facing the prospect of sending our oldest to public school kindergarten in the fall. I WAH 3 days a week and I'm in the office 2 - for his whole life he's been at home with either me or his dad, and this last year a few different sitters have come to our home. We've started using an in home care the last few weeks and it's been an adjustment. He misses us, misses being at home, and doesn't like the rules there (she's very laid back, there aren't a ton of new rules).

My question is, how do I work on getting him ready to go to kindergarten, where there will much more rules, many more kids, and even more time away from us? Or is it one of those things where he'll probably adjust just fine and I shouldn't be concerned?

TIA- I'd love to hear others experiences with kids that were mostly at home and transitioned to school life ok (or not) and how you helped your children adjust.

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#2 of 9 Old 12-17-2014, 07:11 PM
 
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My older child (my younger hasn't started PS yet) did one year of private pre-K before starting kindy. I felt it was am important adjustment step for her. That said, I do know plenty of kids who go right from home to PS and did fine. One tip? Really get yourself behind the school and the process. Kids can sense parent doubt and anxiety. We have absolutely loved sending our kids to school.

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#3 of 9 Old 12-18-2014, 06:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by akind1 View Post
We've started using an in home care the last few weeks and it's been an adjustment. He misses us, misses being at home, and doesn't like the rules there (she's very laid back, there aren't a ton of new rules).

My question is, how do I work on getting him ready to go to kindergarten, where there will much more rules, many more kids, and even more time away from us?


I think that accepting that it is an adjustment is part of the answer. How long has he been at his new daycare? It's a change, and it takes a little while to get used to. When he starts school, that will be another change, and that will take a little while to get used, too. I think that letting him have this half-way step this year is a good step.


I don't think there is a way to make all transitions super easy. While starting K is a big one, there are others, and some kids have an easy time with them than others. My younger DD went to a small private middle school, and then started at our HUGE public high school. It was difficult for her at first (for about a semester), even though once she adjusted, she agreed that both schools were the right ones, and that it was just the adjustment was hard.


Does the daycare provide some structure? A story time, crafts, stuff like that?

but everything has pros and consĀ  shrug.gif

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#4 of 9 Old 12-20-2014, 07:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by akind1 View Post
When we had kids, originally we thought we would homeschool. However, both of us need to continue to work for the time being, and so . . . I'm facing the prospect of sending our oldest to public school kindergarten in the fall. I WAH 3 days a week and I'm in the office 2 - for his whole life he's been at home with either me or his dad, and this last year a few different sitters have come to our home. We've started using an in home care the last few weeks and it's been an adjustment. He misses us, misses being at home, and doesn't like the rules there (she's very laid back, there aren't a ton of new rules).

My question is, how do I work on getting him ready to go to kindergarten, where there will much more rules, many more kids, and even more time away from us? Or is it one of those things where he'll probably adjust just fine and I shouldn't be concerned?

TIA- I'd love to hear others experiences with kids that were mostly at home and transitioned to school life ok (or not) and how you helped your children adjust.
I'd find a fun, play-based preschooly experience. I say "preschooly" because it doesn't mean you have to enroll him in school ASAP. You could look into fun holiday camps (winter/spring) or summer camps. They can be through the zoo, the art center, the rec center, a church, the aquarium, the local museums, the youth theatres.... anyone who offers camps for the preschool set. These camps at the preschool level are generally half day and last a week or two. It's a good way to set-up that learning away from home can be fun. There are of course rules and structure but the hands-on learning in a very different environment can be a good distraction. I'd particularly look at some camps the month prior to school starting.

Many kids actually transition easier into a structured environment than a home day-care situation. I'm not saying there is anything bad about home day-care in the least. I'm just saying, as a former preschool teacher, that the structure and way the day is broken up into clear segments can help young children struggling to adapt. It keeps them moving. It helps them understand the passage of time. They can "clock" when mom is coming by the activities of the day. It's such a different environment that they don't cling to the home rules so staunchly.

What's important is that you stay positive. Listen to your child and show compassion for any of their frustrations or sorrows on the matter but you need to give them a strong and upbeat outlook during their transition. Most kids handle it pretty well by kindergarten age whether they've been in preschool or not. My own went to preschool a couple mornings a week and that transition was shockingly easy for them despite them rarely ever having a babysitter (and even then, never a non-grandparent.) Kindie was a breeze.

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#5 of 9 Old 12-20-2014, 10:36 AM
 
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We were able to homeschool through the elementary years, but I think it's important to remember that until a generation or two ago it was quite normal for kids to go from always being in a family environment to kindergarten. I was born in 1963 and went to a preschool program because my parents were teaching at a college that offered an Early Childhood Educator diploma and therefore had an affiliated preschool for the student teachers. Most kids in my neighbourhood didn't attend preschool, and my parents felt a bit judged ... as if this marked them as pretentious and ambitious.

Now I realize that academic expectations for kids in kindergarten can be quite a bit different nowadays, but the business of transitioning from home to school is still just that. Kids in the 1960's went from full-time at home to kindergarten all the time. Some of them took to it like a fish to water, most went through an adjustment period, some struggled with the transition. But as abnormal as that shift feels to you today in our current culture, it was something most kids went through back then, and it mostly worked out fine.

And do remember that the 9 months until next fall is 20% of your ds's life! He will grow and mature so much between now and then, just naturally. He'll be almost 6 when he starts KG!

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#6 of 9 Old 12-26-2014, 06:44 PM
 
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See if you have ECFE - Early Childhood Family Education - in your school district. It is a parent child class, part of the time you are together part of the time apart. If there is nothing like that, then I second the preschool. Even if it is two mornings a week for two hours.
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#7 of 9 Old 12-27-2014, 05:11 AM
 
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See if you have ECFE - Early Childhood Family Education - in your school district. It is a parent child class, part of the time you are together part of the time apart.
In our last town these were called Parent Coops. That's the model we chose for DC#1 and it was a wonderful introduction for her. She even ended up at a public parent cooperative for Kindergarten. Again, a great solution if available.

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#8 of 9 Old 01-11-2015, 11:40 AM
 
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I've got a grade schooler, a preschooler and a toddler in daycare and a I agree that how well a kid adjusts to an unfamiliar environment is dependent of how well that environment meets that kids needs - the rest is commentary, as it were.
I second the poster who suggested that he might actually prefer kindergarten as an institution to in home care. Now he is in someone else's home with someone else's mom, then he will be in his classroom with his teacher. I have always preferred it for my children and I think so did they.
Also, unless he is very academically advanced (which is quite a different kettle of fish and a problem you cannot tackle now anyway) he might see a point to kindergarten that he isn't seeing in day care - why not just be home with you and do fun and interesting stuff with you if he is to be in someone's home at all, but there might be interesting group activities, music, learning, crafts, etc, going on in k he enjoys and sees the point of much better.
And of course I second Miranda who pointed out that at this age, there is a major developmental leap to be expected between now and fall.

I'd say the only work to be done is developing your and his. Confidence that he will be okay in fall. But that one is all in the head, as they say.
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#9 of 9 Old 01-13-2015, 04:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by akind1 View Post
When we had kids, originally we thought we would homeschool. However, both of us need to continue to work for the time being, and so . . . I'm facing the prospect of sending our oldest to public school kindergarten in the fall. I WAH 3 days a week and I'm in the office 2 - for his whole life he's been at home with either me or his dad, and this last year a few different sitters have come to our home. We've started using an in home care the last few weeks and it's been an adjustment. He misses us, misses being at home, and doesn't like the rules there (she's very laid back, there aren't a ton of new rules).

My question is, how do I work on getting him ready to go to kindergarten, where there will much more rules, many more kids, and even more time away from us? Or is it one of those things where he'll probably adjust just fine and I shouldn't be concerned?

TIA- I'd love to hear others experiences with kids that were mostly at home and transitioned to school life ok (or not) and how you helped your children adjust.
Each kind of transition builds on the previous one-- home with a family member, caregiver, daycare experience or preschool, finally the larger K experience. I think it is really helpful to have various experiences and each allows the child to form relationships of trust and respect. Our kids go to a play school-type Reggio preschool and it was helpful. I've seen kids who have been primarily at home have very difficult transitions to K, including my sister's kids who don't do preschool at all and never had a private babysitter.
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