Butterflies over starting school? Hey, that’s perfectly normal–and not just for the kids. Fortunately, if your little one’s headed to kindergarten this fall, we’ve got a little homework for you to ensure it’s an A+ experience.

 

Read a book about starting school.

Buy a book or get one from the library about the first day of kindergarten. Knowing what to expect helps kids feel more comfortable with the transition. Bonus: Reading to your child also helps them build comprehension skills–and learn to enjoy learning.

 

Visit your child’s school before the first day.

Most schools hold an open house before school begins, which is a great opportunity for your child to meet their teacher and other kids in the class. Travel the route your child will take every day to get there and spend some time in their classroom if you can. Tell them when their day will start and when you’ll pick them up.

 

Arrange a play date with other kids in your child’s class.

Whether you get invited to a group play date by a class rep or meet other families at an open house, try to get together (at a park near the school, say) at least once before the first day.

 

Start moving up bedtime.

If your kid’s been going to bed later over the summer, start dialing that back by 15 minutes every night until you get to their target bedtime. You’ll probably want to aim for around 7:30 or 8:00; check our bedtime chart to see what’s right for your kid.

 

Practice the practical stuff.

It’s fine if your kid can’t tie their shoes yet, but you do want to ensure they can zip and unzip their backpacks and coats and get their shoes and coats on and off on their own. You’ll also want to make sure they can get their lunch containers and water bottle open without your help.

 

Incorporate letters, numbers, colors and shapes into games.

Play the alphabet game next time you’re in the car. Sing fun songs together like “Ten Little Monkeys.” Play I Spy with colors (“I spy something green….”) See how fast your child can sort silverware into the drawer. Make it fun and don’t push it; it’s more important that your kid enjoy learning than that they know how to count to 100.

 

Go shopping for school.

You don’t have to go overboard with a flashy first-day outfit or fancy backpack–even a colorful new set of pencils can help your child look forward to their first day.

 

Ask your child how they’re feeling about starting school.

If they’re excited, great. If they’re scared, explain that you were nervous about your first day of kindergarten too. But let them know that you also met new friends, learned cool new things and had fun on the playground.

 

Keep calm and smile on.

Sometimes parents have a harder time on the first day of school than kids do! But even if you’re secretly worried on the inside, try to stay relaxed and confident on the outside; kids are very good at picking up on their parents’ cues, so keep yours calm and positive.

 

Fostering your child’s emotional intelligence promotes school readiness and personal and professional success down the road–get your kid started today with Q Wunder!