Preparing your child for kindergarten

Hudson before his first day of school. His backpack could eat him for lunch. I love it. 

I am not an expert in this area by any means. Not even remotely. Last week I dropped my oldest off at kindergarten for the first time. So, if your child is starting this week or in September I am literally only a few days ahead of you.

I decided to write this post, not because I’m some expert, but because a lot of friends have been asking how Hudson’s first day of kindergarten went. Every first-time-kindergarten-mommy wants to know what to expect on the first day of school.

Before Hudson started it was hard for me to find information on what to expect. I Googled it, called his school office no less than four times with questions AND emailed his teacher. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, ya know? Who wants their kid to show up unprepared for the first day of school? No one!

So, here is a basic run down of my experience so far, and some tips for making that first week a lot less painful and a lot more fun. This post will also include some pictures from Hudson’s first day at school and, c’mon, who doesn’t want to see those?!

If you don’t have a child entering kindergarten or you’ve already been down this road before (and you’re not one of Hudson’s grandparents) you can always just skim for pictures. That’s always fun. 🙂


It was IMPOSSIBLE to get a picture of Hudson standing still and smiling.

First, some stats on Hudson’s class: It’s a local public elementary school where there are four kindergarten classes with 30 students in each class. Yes, that’s a lot of students! His teacher has been at this school her entire adult life. There are always three adults in the classroom: two teachers (one lead, one assistant) and one volunteer. It’s a half day kindergarten program, so he is at school for 3 hours and 45 minutes, five days a week.

School starts at 8:05 a.m. and Hudson is expected to be lined up on the yellow line outside of his classroom door at 8:00. When his teacher opens the door, the kids file into the classroom. I stick around long enough to make sure he’s safely delivered and then I leave. I’m usually home by 8:15.

THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

Hudson’s first day of school was as much for the parents as it was for the children. After his teacher let us in the classroom we sat with him at a table and helped him work through a worksheet. Then the teacher welcomed us and laid out her expectations for students and parents. I’ll go over those in a minute. The classroom was so cool it made me want to be in school again.

WHAT IS EXPECTED OF PARENTS

On the first day of school, the teacher was very clear about what is expected of us as parents. After all, whether our kids show up prepared and on time is really up to us! She listed the following expectations:

  • Be on time dropping off your child at the classroom door
  • Do not be late picking up your child
  • Look through your child’s backpack at the end of every day and sign/review/return any paperwork sent home by the teacher
  • Volunteer to bring snacks when needed
  • Remember the 3 ‘B’s

What are the three ‘B’s? I’m so glad you asked! The following are vitally important to setting our children up for success at school:

Download this FREE printable here.

Hudson’s teacher described them like this:

Bed. Start getting your child ready at 7:00 or 7:30. Lights out by 8:00 p.m. at the latest.
Breakfast. Make sure your child eats a good breakfast. (Hudson’s class only has a small snack before lunch at 11:30).
Bathroom. The teacher can’t take 30 kids to the bathroom right after the bell rings. Students should use the bathroom before school.

WHAT IS EXPECTED OF STUDENTS

These are simple and boil down to this:

  • Pay attention and follow directions
  • Be kind to others
  • Have a good attitude

All of these will be easier if your child has observed the 3 ‘B’s before school! I’m a lot nicer when I’m well fed and well rested, too. 🙂

Say what you will about public schools, I am SO impressed with Hudson’s teacher and his class. His teacher is prepared, intelligent, firm and kind. She has the students under a iron rule (in a good way). Today, Hudson told me he loves her.

The change in schedule has been good for all of us. I actually like getting up early and starting the day. Abby and I are spending a lot more quality time together, and that’s something I’ve wanted for a long time.

And, lastly, to answer the question in the back of your mind: No, I didn’t cry on Hudson’s first day of school!  I beamed from ear to ear after dropping him off. I’m so proud of him and who he’s becoming, and I’m proud of myself for managing this new stage so well. We were all ready for it.

I hope and pray that your child has a wonderful first day of kindergarten! Let me know how it goes. And if you’ve been down this road before, leave a comment with words of wisdom for the rest of us. Thanks for reading, friends!

Comments

  1. says

    Hudson’s teacher sounds fabulous! A huge plus, given the fact that this first year will help set his attitude toward school in the coming years. We look forward to future updates!