Many of my good pals and awesome readers have emailed me asking what exactly I’m doing to prepare Maddy for Kindergarten.
I think it’s a really good question. Most of us spend the first five years of our kids’ lives preparing them for the time when we’ll hand them over to others to begin their formal education. But for me, this last week of summer seems. . . especially important.
Here are just a few things that we have done, and will do this week to get us ready for the first day of Kindergarten:
- A Quick Hello Note: I created this simple letter this past weekend after being inspired by my favorite magazine ever, Family Fun.
It’s a Quick Hello Note from Maddy to her new teacher. I totally love it.
It’s really just a chance for Maddy to say Hello to her teacher before school begins. I included a “To” and “From” line and a spot for a small picture of Maddy. It also includes her birthday and a few of her favorites: food, color, animal, holiday, and activity.
The cool thing is that it includes a second pagefor the teacher to fill out. I know–having been there myself–that teachers are busier than busy this week, so the letter is super short. It mirrors the note that Maddy completed–just a spot for a name, birthday, and some favorites.
Maddy filled out her name, and we took turns writing the answers to each favorite. Then we put both sheets in an envelope and walked it up to the school. We asked the secretary to drop it in her teacher’s mailbox, and we were finished!
My hope is that her teacher may find time to return the letter at this week’s Open House or sometime during the first week of school. It’s just a great chance for Maddy to feel more connected to her teacher before the year begins.
Here is the Hello Teacher Note as a pdf to download if you please.
- Lunchbox Practice: She’s had lunch at preschool before, but one day this week I’m going to pack lunch for us all to take to the park.
I’ll use Maddy’s brand new lunchbox and the earth-friendly containers I plan to use this year. I just want to make sure she’s able to open them on her own, and I’ll remind her that half-empty juice boxes belong in the trash, not back in her lunch bag.
- Playdates With New Pals: Last spring, I sent an inquiry out over our community online bulletin board asking for any parents of rising kindergartners at our elementary school to contact me if they were interested in participating in summertime playdates.
Along with the families involved in my local MOMS Club, we had a pretty large group of soon-to-be-Kindergartners by mid-summer. We met 2-3 times each month, and the familiar faces–I hope–will ease the transition for many of our kiddos.
And there’s no time like the present; if your school has an open house for students or a back-to-school night for parents, why not have a sheet ready for a last-minute playdate sign-up then? A weekend before school starts may still work!
- School Visits: Just dropping by the building to bring our labels by the school for the last few years, or recently delivering her teacher’s letter or Kindergarten forms, I have to say that I’ve tried to make the school a familiar place for our family. We have attended the carnivals, crashed (okay, so honestly, the first year it was an accident) the cook-outs, played at the playground, sledded down the hill, and picnicked near the trees.
Yes, we’re totally lucky that the school is a stone’s throw from our house, but I’m hoping now that the time there will make Maddy’s transition a bit easier.
- Mom (or Dad) and Maddy Time: Whether I take her to the little place down the road for a special little manicure or do it myself here, I’m definitely going to steal for myself some time alone with Maddy to chat about anything she might have on her mind or to answer questions she has about school.
- Books: We’ve been reading, reading, reading all summer long. I’ve stumbled across some really awesome school-related titles which I’ll share this week.
- Summer Work: Yep, we’ve hit it a few good times this past summer. The Buggy Calendar provided by the school totally rocks, and the ideas were great. I’m thankful for the work the teachers did in preparing it and know that Maddy really enjoyed the activities we chose.
My kids have never fared well with count-downs or a whole lot of build-up for specific events in our lives; they’ve always been better with a “Hey! Guess where we’re going today (or tomorrow)!” So we’re not counting down the days or talking about the start of school every single day. Rather, I’ll throw in a little something here or there when it seems like the right time.
We all know that Kindergarten is right around the corner, so along with a whole lot of snuggle time, that is our schedule for this last big week. . .
this super-helpful post by my pal, Resourceful Mommy.