Transition to Kindergarten
Helping your Child Make the Transition to Kindergarten
During your child’s preschool and elementary years, your involvement in their education can set them on a path to success for years to come. The more you know, the better advocate you can be for your child. Here are a few things that you as a parent can do to prepare your child for kindergarten and get their school career off to a great start.
- Talk to your child’s preschool teacher or family child care provider on a regular basis and ask how you can help your child learn at home. Your child’s caregiver/teacher can be a great partner in helping you and your child prepare for the transition.
- Plan a kindergarten visit. Visiting the new classroom or school with your child will help make preparing for kindergarten easier. If possible, meet with your child’s new kindergarten teacher. Kindergarten orientation is time for you to introduce your child and yourself to the teacher. Remember there will be lots of children and families attending, so save in-depth conversations about your child for another time.
- Establish bedtime routines. Resume the regular bedtime routines about a month before school starts to help ease the kindergarten transition. You will be glad you did this as the first few weeks can be exhausting for a new kindergartner. You may also want to monitor afternoon and evening TV viewing habits or establish new limits to meet the new needs of your child’s school schedule.
- Establish a morning routine. Having a morning routine will save you time and frustration. See how long it takes in the morning to get to school before that first day. A “dry run” will help with time management. Remember, school preparation almost always takes more time than you think.
- Plan time for breakfast. Having a good breakfast before leaving for school is important. Be sure to adjust your morning schedule to account for the extra time for your child to enjoy breakfast. Nervous tummies don’t need a huge breakfast that first day.
- Create a lunch plan. Be sure your child understands the lunch plan. This can be very confusing for a kindergartner who thinks they might want to eat what the school is serving instead of the lunch you may have prepared.
- Decrease or phase out naps. For preschoolers who still take a nap, begin decreasing nap time so that he/she will be ready for a full day of school by the time kindergarten starts.
- Make a plan for before- and after-school. Make sure you and your child know the routine for before- and after-school care if that applies. Discuss where he/she will go, how he/she will get between school and child care, how he/she will get home, etc. Have a back-up plan for what to do in case you are late. Be sure that your emergency pick-up people know where the new school or after-school program is located and what the pick-up routine is there. Better to prepare ahead of time than wait for an emergency.
- Connect with your child’s teacher. It is important to give yourself and your child a chance to “bond” with the new teacher. Give time for the new relationship to develop between you, your child, and the new teacher as you all adjust to the kindergarten classroom.
- Go shopping together for school supplies. Let your child choose colors or styles for their school supplies. This is a fun activity when getting ready for kindergarten!
- Once kindergarten begins, keep informed of school happenings. Be sure to read the information that is shared with you about school happenings and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
- Keep in mind the transition doesn’t end on the first day of kindergarten. You will continue to be your child’s first and best teacher…AND your child’s best advocate when it comes to his or her education.
Check out these other articles on kindergarten transition:
- Transitioning to Kindergarten | NAEYC
- 12 Ways to Help Your Child Transition to Kindergarten | Harvard Health Publishing
- Parent Guide to Transitioning to Kindergarten | NEA
- Kindergarten Transition (with videos!) | Clayton Early Learning
- Advice to a Kindergarten Parent from a Parent | Parent Map
Get Ready for Kindergarten with Practical Tips, Tricks, and Tools | Common Sense Media
Is Your Child Ready?
Readiness skills, both academic and social/emotional, can help your child’s transition to kindergarten. Since All children develop in their own way, guidelines can help you determine if your child is ready as well as offer opportunities to work on these skills before they start school.
Information shared with permission from CPCD giving children a head start.
- Ready or Not Kindergarten, Here We Come | NAEYC
- Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten? The Skills They’ll Need This Fall (article & book list) | Scholastic
- Social Skills for Kindergarten | Education Corner
- Keys to Kindergarten: Social and Emotional Development | Leap Frog
What Kindergarten Teachers Wish You Knew
Keeping Up in Kindergarten
Your child’s transition to kindergarten doesn’t end when you drop them off the first day. Check out these resources for keeping up with your child’s progress:
- The Vital Guide To Monitoring Child Progress | Hatch Early Learning
- Kindergarten: How Can I Tell If My Child Is Keeping Up? | Healthy Day Newsletter
Kindergarten Registration Dates for 2010-21
For information about kindergarten registration dates for the 2020-21 school year, you may wish to contact school districts directly. Below are links to the registration page for each school district. Updated information for the upcoming school year varies by school district. While your “home” school district is determined by your street address, parents may apply for a permit to attend an school of choice during open enrollment windows.
- Harrison School District 2
- Widefield School District 3
- Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 – View March 9th Kindergarten Round-Up Flyer HERE
- Colorado Springs School District 11
- Cheyenne Mountain District 12
- Manitou Springs School District 14
- Academy School District 20
- Ellicott School District 22
- Peyton School District 23
- Lewis-Palmer School District 38
- Falcon School District 49
- Woodland Park RE-2
- Miami-Yoder School District 60