Back to School Transitions: Tips for Starting Kindergarten

They’re growing up so fast! Kindergarten already!? The Back to School season, particularly starting kindergarten, can be an exciting and stressful time for families. It can be a big adjustment, not just for your child going to school but for your family and other children in the household.

Here are a few tips on how to manage the transition to kindergarten during this exciting and scary time as a parent and student.

Take in the moment. It’s one of those significant life milestones. If possible, consider taking the morning off work to see your child off. Usual mornings can be chaos with getting yourself and your kids ready. Give yourself extra time, make a special breakfast and try to take in the moment without worrying about rushing out the door.

Walking kids to school

Plan ahead. Help your child pick out and prepare their outfit/uniform for the morning. Prepare lunches and back packs to remove things that can cause stress the next morning.

packing night ahead

Capture the moment, but share with caution. Definitely document this big day with some special pictures but be careful about posting them online. Many parents love to share milestone moments online with friends and family. The classic first day of school picture is always a fun one to share. Carefully consider how much information you share inadvertently. These posts can reveal a shocking amount of information you may not want out in the public eye.

Photos in front of houses or on your street can reveal house numbers, street signs. Your post may indicate the school name or where bus drop-offs are. Some parents purchase fun signs that realistically contain a dossier of information about your child.

Additionally, photos may be posted with geo-information embedded in the photo’s metadata that allows someone to see exactly where photos are taken. Some parents are more open than others about sharing information online but it is important to consider how much sensitive information you are potentially revealing publicly. Carefully consider the wishes of fellow parents. Your child may have a friend whose parent does not want their photo shared that indicates their name or what school they attend.

Ultimately it’s your decision what you post online but be aware of how easily very personal information can be seen by a stranger.

Back to School Sign

Create an emergency plan. Things happen in our lives where a student may need to be picked up from school. Assign specific people to pick up your kids and discuss with them who might pick them up. Consider creating a code word with them for anyone that may pick them up for any reason. Discuss your weekly plans openly with your kids so they know what to expect so they can question if a change has been made.

picking up kids from school

Check with your school for restrictions and allergy information. Different school boards and individual schools may have specific rules when it comes to things such as litterless lunches or items restricted due to allergy concerns for other students.

litterless school lunches

Have your children assist with packing their lunch and snacks. Having your child participate in preparing their food has been shown to reduce food waste as they are involved in the decision making of what they will be eating.

packing lunch

Buy appropriate footwear. Schools may have some requirements for footwear in terms of dress codes and uniforms but consider comfort and utility where possible. Ideally the child can put the shoes on themselves, but also they should be comfortable, appropriate to weather and have good grip to avoid trips and falls.

Tying Shoes

Try to adjust schedules the week or two before school starts. Starting school can be a significant change to your family’s daily schedule and the sudden change can result in some rough mornings. Trying to adjust bedtimes and meal times to their new normal schedule will help ease the transition.

bedtime routine

Visit the School. Most schools will have an orientation or open house that will give you the opportunity to see the classrooms and meet teachers. It also gives your child the opportunity to get familiar with the space, learn about the daily schedule and start getting a sense of the expectations. They can also meet some potential future friends.

School Orientation

Label everything you can. Many companies offer durable custom labels that can be used on anything from lunchboxes to shoes. Lots of kids will have the same clothing items, accessories, water bottles and can easily get mixed up.

Build excitement leading up school starting. Shop together for school supplies, pick out a special outfit and continue speaking positively about school leading up to the school year. The morning of, don’t share your own anxieties or nervousness as they may pick up on that.

back to school shopping

Communicate the plan for the day. Let them know what will happen when sending them off to school, their schedule throughout the day, and the plan for their return home. For many kids, their world is pretty small. Starting at a new school can be a complete upheaval to their lifestyle. Being open about what will happen and when can help ease anxieties.

back to school kindergarten tips

Consider Student Accident Insurance. New environments and situations introduce new risk and having Student Accident Insurance provides greater peace of mind. Accidents can introduce financial burdens during an already stressful time. Feel secure knowing your family is protected from the financial impact if your child is involved in an accident.

We offer a variety of plans to suit every family’s needs. Explore available plans here.