Educators recommend routine for kindergartners

Published 7:36 pm Monday, August 21, 2017

The start of kindergarten is an exciting and stressful time for students and parents alike.

Before school starts Monday, Beaufort County educators recommend implementing a home routine for kindergartners as the best way to avoid any transition troubles.

“A lot of parents may stress numbers and letters and those kinds of things. A routine in your family and in your household is probably one of the most beneficial things for your child,” said Jennifer Walker, a kindergarten teacher at Eastern Elementary School. “When they come in prepared with those social skills, in a procedure and a routine, it makes a stronger start for the teacher and for the little family you have in the room now.”

Walker said simply training a child’s belly for the lunch and snacking schedule at school can make a big difference. She also recommended setting a bedtime schedule.

“You can start as early as you need to, preparing for that,” Walker said. “You have to train your brains and your mind and your belly to get ready.”

Chocowinity Primary School Principal Alicia Vosburgh agreed that a routine is the way to go for kindergartners — at home and at school.

“It is very important to be on time every day. Teaching children to be punctual will serve them well as they grow and become productive citizens. Being on time also ensures their day to start off smoothly,” Vosburgh wrote in an email. “I would suggest packing lunches at night, having your child learn this, and then they can become independent in this area, as well. Getting clothes out the night before will save time in the morning, and help to make your mornings run smoothly.”

As for emotions running high, Walker said she sees parents become more emotional than their children on the first day, especially if it’s a first or last child starting school.

“I’ve definitely had more upset parents than kids,” Walker said. “The kids do great the first week. I usually have kids that start crying after Labor Day.”

Vosburgh suggested that parents try to hold back on any tears on the first day, as this can help a child settle in more.

“It is important to talk about the start of school with positivity and to get your child excited,” Vosburgh wrote. “Make sure you discuss with your child how their day went. Ask specific questions, so they won’t give you just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers.”

Walker said it is a good feeling to watch her students’ progress — some students come to kindergarten without knowing how to hold scissors or pencils properly.

“They just absorb it like little sponges,” she said. “When you come in ready to learn, you can do anything. … You can’t help but feel a little bit of emotion on that milestone for that child.”