Tips from the pros

Tips from the pros
What can you do to make the first few days of school a positive experience for your child? How can you get organized at home to set up good habits? Parents and kindergarten teachers share their tips.

What can you do to make the first few days of school a positive experience for your child? How can you get organized at home to set up good habits? Parents and kindergarten teachers share their tips.

To prepare them. . .

“Your child can bring a stuffed animal, blanket or picture of you to class for reassurance. Most teachers let the children do this for the first few weeks.”

Annie Lamontagne, teacher, École de la Passerelle, Chambly

“Before school started, we read Luca stories that took place at school because he was worried. We also got in the habit of talking about his days when he got home from school to see what was going well and what wasn’t.”

Carolina Da Fonte, mother to Luca (5 years old), Longueuil

“On the first day of school, even if you’re feeling emotional, try not to cry in front of your child so as not to worry her. If your child cries because she doesn’t want you to leave, you need to let her go with her teacher just the same. The tears never last long.”

Patrick Simard, teacher, École Monseigneur-Forget, Longueuil

“Rafaëlle was afraid of not making friends in kindergarten, but everything turned out fine. I think it’s because we put more effort into showing him how to get along with others rather than teaching him how to write and count.”

Billy Riendeau, father to Rafaëlle (5 years old), Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

“Remember to put your child to bed early. There’s no naptime in kindergarten, so she’ll be tired at night.”

Micheline Leclerc, teacher, École La Présentation, La Présentation

To get organized. . .

“In the mornings, we put bread, cereal, and pre-washed or cut fruit on the table. Our four children then prepare their own breakfast. We’re there if they need us, but they usually manage on their own.”

Martin Morissette, father to Thierry (8 years old), Yoann (7 years old), Éloïse (5 years old) and Clara (4 years old), Lévis

“To make things go faster in the mornings, we put out what our daughter will wear the night before. If at the last minute, she decides she wants to wear something else, I let her. As long as it’s comfortable and suitable for the season, I don’t mind.”

Alain Saint-Jacques, father to Sandrine (5 years old), Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

“I put my daughter to bed early enough for her to wake up naturally on her own and stress-free around 6 a.m.”

Fedwa Lahlou, mother to Mayssa (5 years old), Longueuil

“I have two containers in the fridge: one for snacks and desserts, and the other for ready-made meals like sandwiches. The goal is for my son to put his meal, yogurt, snack and drink in his lunch box on his own.”

Dominique Bernèche, mother to Louis (5 years old), Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon

Comments collected by Nathalie Côté and Catherine Mainville-M.

Remember
  • The things you do every day with your child are an excellent way to prepare her for school.
  • Giving your child opportunities to play with others and encouraging her to do some things on her own prepares her for kindergarten.
  • In kindergarten, learning occurs mainly through play. The year serves to level students so everyone can start grade one on the right foot.
  • Talking positively about the school makes your child want to go and promotes academic achievement.
Naitre et grandir.com

Source : Naître et grandir magazine, July-August 2016
Research and copywriting : Nathalie Côté and Julie Leduc
Scientific Review : Maryse Rondeau, Kindergarten Teacher and Chair of the Association d’éducation préscolaire du Québec Board of Directors

Photo: Nicolas St-Germain