Transition Tips for Pre-K-, K, 1st graders!
Now that school has started families are in the early stages of watching their children transition from pre-school to Kindergarten or from Kindergarten to first-grade. Our young ones are experiencing highs and lows as some used to a half-day pre-school or kindergarten setting now are experiencing full-day in kindergartens and certainly in first-grade.
Although most children can play all day and deny being tired and needing rest or naps, it is not the case when young children enter a learning situation where structure, time constraints, and choices are not necessarily theirs. The beginning of anything “new” may cause anxiety, defiance, or simply just confusion and sadness related to a routine that has now changed. Regardless of how a child reacts, there are a few tips if practiced daily or as needed which may assist in transitioning to length of day, lack of choice, and structured time segments.
Tips on Transitions to Time, Structure, Choice
- Reflect on any summer camp activity the child may have attended where structure was used: Bible camps, Art schools, Swim teams….. how did the child respond initially and then over time.
- Celebrate the daily school happenings with your child – allow them to vent, give their opinion of what’s going on, and how they could make things better or more fun.
- Review any information the school or teacher has provided and ask what questions your child has regarding the information
- Invite an older sibling, cousin, friend to describe their first few weeks of school and how they adapted to the things they liked and to the things they didn’t like – don’t mislead the child into thinking that everything is perfect
There are no crystal balls to show what each child will face in the first few weeks of school, however, setting up talk time where a child can work through feelings of anxiety, resentment, confusion, or elation and anticipation may be the secret key to a smooth transition.