The “transition to kindergarten” – three little words, but they mean A LOT! Trust me. Been there; done that. Bought the t-shirt (literally)! The transition to kindergarten is a very exciting and eventful time for any family and is a rite of passage for our little ones that we’ll cherish forever. But it is also riddled with plans to be made, tasks to be done and the odd worry thrown in along the way to keep us honest!
As I sat, teary-eyed and nostalgic, watching my “baby” graduate from SK a month ago, I realized how far we’d come over the past couple of years and what a big boy I now had on my hands. I remembered the seemingly endless days (fleeting moments really) working with him on buttons, zippers, boots, snow pants, lunch and snack containers, toileting and all the other self-help stuff he needed to know heading into JK. Having long mastered all those things now, it almost saddened me to realize just how independent he had become and how much growing and changing he’d done in such a short time.
Now, I know I’m sounding all blue and melancholy about my boy’s coming of age but I am actually very happy and proud of the strides he’s in made in two short years. The full-day, play-based learning approach at his school did wonders for his growth and development and I’ve noticed big changes in how he interacts with others and the world around him. I’m glad he was exposed to many various opportunities and environments in which to just plain PLAY during his early years at home – it prepared him well for school and early learning.
If there is one thing I would share with other parents about how best to make the transition to school a happy one, it would be simply this; an anonymous quote I stumbled on years ago: “prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child.” To me, this means creating a loving, accepting, soft, warm, understanding, calm HOME for my kids to come to after whatever their school day brings and before tackling the next day. This means following their lead in play and conversation – and playing and chatting and hugging a lot!
Self-help skills and managing the loo are very important in the lead up to the big day, I’m not gonna lie…but LOVE and togetherness are the keys to a happy transition. Believe me. It’s true. Enjoy this special time for you and your little one. It’ll fly by. I promise.
(By the way – I wrote a blog series about this last year – have a boo!)
Is your little one making the big move this year? Or maybe you have words of wisdom from your travels? We’d love to hear from you! There are a number of ways to reach us:
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About this blogger:
Paula D’Orazio RN is a public health nurse with the Early Years Health Program at the Halton Region Health Department. Wanna know more about her? Read her blogs! She’ll tell ya! (She kinda likes to talk.)