How to Get Your Pre K, K and 1st Grader Ready for the First Day of School

Written by Joyce Schlimmer on August 12th, 2015

As these beautiful days of summer begin to shorten, the long-awaited ‘First Day of School’ approaches for the new little students in Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade at Providence. While for the older students, much is already known about the school routine and expectations, for these little children, school will be a significant transition. We teachers look forward to walk along these exciting new pathways into the world to formal education with your child. As we partner with you, here are a few ideas to make this transition smooth and delightful for all.


Consider purchasing school supplies soon, using the opportunity to discuss school days and activities. Involve them. Or if you have already pre-purchased your school supply kit, go through the items with your child and delight in the possibilities they hold.

Look for communication from your child’s teacher the week before school starts. She will be sending information specific to the class, hopefully answering all your questions. And if you have remaining questions, please email or call your teacher. We love to hear from you and want to make sure your child’s transition to school is smooth.

Please come to the Ice Cream Social on the day before school begins.  What an excellent time for all to meet Mrs. Schlimmer, Miss McPhetridge and Mrs. Ferguson. Enjoy ice cream with some new friends then come up and see the room, find your child’s desk and check out the new bulletin boards. These orientations can help relieve the fear of the unknown.

As much as possible, get into a school schedule a week or two before school starts, especially for waking, eating and sleeping. One of the most difficult things for these small ones can be a staying alert throughout their school day. Being well rested, well-fed and unhurried at the beginning of the day gives them a great ‘leg up’ for learning!

If you haven’t already done so, incorporate into your routine a daily read-aloud time with your child. This time is extremely important as it fosters a love of learning, closeness with parents, shared experiences, and the foundations for reading, as well as writing!

And don’t forget to play review games with phonograms, memory work, colors, letters, spelling, and math: refresh their academic knowledge so your child can hit the ground running on the First Day of School.

Prepare your child for the emotional and spiritual challenges they may face with separation, making new friends, and getting used to the school structure. As their parents, you know what their most likely stresses will be, so consider how you may prepare them. Perhaps you might use this opportunity to teach them a verse in order to strengthen their faith – Deuteronomy 31:6, for example. Pray with them specifically about the transition.

And keep the lines of communication open! As the days go by, keep chatting with your child about his day. Ask questions and listen for the ‘off-hand’ comment that may lead to further talking. Also, keep the communication open with your child’s teacher. We love to hear from you and need to know if you have questions, concerns or difficulties. Often, little things can be clarified, so if in doubt, talk with us!

We are preparing for you in these last couple of weeks before school and look forward to a wonderful year!