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Moms Talk Q&A: How Do You Get Ready for Kindergarten?

What are your tips to help kids prepare for kindergarten? When should you start having these conversations with your child?

Moms Talk is a new feature on the Naperville Patch, part of a new initiative on our Patch sites to reach out to moms and families.

We invite you and your circle of friends to help build a community of support for mothers and their families right here in .

Each week in Moms Talk, our Moms Council of experts and smart moms will take your questions, give advice and share solutions.

Moms, dads, grandparents and the diverse families who make up our community will have a new resource for questions about local neighborhood schools, the best pediatricians, 24-hour pharmacies and the thousands of other issues that arise while raising children.

Moms Talk will also be the place to drop in for a chat about the latest parenting hot topic. Where can we get information on local flu shot clinics for children? How do we talk to our children about the Tucson shootings? How can we help our children's schools weather their budget cutbacks?

Today's topic is what should we be doing to get our kids ready for Kindergarten? Maybe you know of some "tricks" to start preparing them early. Share them with us and let other moms know what worked best for you!

Moms Council members are on line to chat with you! Please use the comment box below for questions, or to share your experiences and the lessons you have learned.

 

Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Suzanne Flynn March 23, 2011 at 06:23 PM
I think nowadays kids are more prepared than ever because they are attending preschool and taking about it there. I know my son, who is 4 and still has another year left of preschool, already knows in 2 years he'll be going to school with his brother. He calls it his brothers school, but I correct him and tell him it will be his school when he goes to Kindergarten. If your child doesn't have an older sibling I would definitely start driving past the school now if you haven't already (if they are going to Kindergarten this Fall). I think parents should be talking about it at least during the last year of preschool. Any opportunity you have to take your child to the school - TAKE IT. Letting them see what the school looks like,and how cool it is will help them. Friends in the neighborhood who are going to the school will help too - but not necessary. My oldest didn't know ANYONE when he went to Kindergarten and he was just fine! Mom was more worried than he was!
Carrie Frillman March 23, 2011 at 07:20 PM
I think kindergarten is something most children look forward to. So Suzanne, you'd suggest letting your kids know as early as possible that this is somewhere they'll be going in the future? As a mother, how do you cope with sending your little ones off to kindergarten? My mom said she cried when she sent each child, but I didn't go to preschool. So maybe preschool helps adults make the transition too.
Suzanne Flynn March 24, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Yes, Carrie. I just think telling them "you're going to go to school there someday" is important. It gives them a sense that it's coming and they won't be at preschool (or home) forever. My oldest son was in daycare all day since he was 12 weeks old and I cried harder when I dropped him off at Kindergarten than I did when I dropped him off at daycare the first day. So parents can't be prepared...I think it's just the feelings of them growing older, more independent etc. And the fact that you don't know what gos on each and every day. At daycare of preschool you are talking to the teacher/caregiver each and every day. You don't get that when they enter elementary school. It's just different, and an adjustment for the child and parent all together. But back to the topic at hand...You cope by knowing every child has done it and every parent has done it and you too will survive. That's how I got through it. Then sending him off to first grade was a little easier, and 2nd grade a little more easier...but the tears are still there for me :)
Cristine Struble March 24, 2011 at 05:54 PM
These are all good ideas on getting your child and yourself, as a mom, ready for the big day. Somewhat of a Naperville tradition is Safety Town, which is provided by the Naperville Jr. Woman's Club. My current kindergarten-er went last year. It was a great way to introduce him to the rules of the bus, safety issues and the importance of knowing your address and phone number. Safety Town is offered during the summer and registration will open April 11. We will be going back to Safety Town this summer for my younger son. As for the first day of kindergarten, my son was so excited to be one of the big kids. My offer to drive him to school was flatly refused; he jumped on the bus (the only kindergarten child on the bus) and didn't even look back. I was very proud.

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