Tips for transitioning from small preschool to large elementary school

We love the preschool that RJ has attended since he was 2, and the school that Elias now attends and the rest of our children will attend. It’s a co-op school with small class sizes. If you’re not familiar with co-op schools, it’s short for cooperative schools meaning parent involvement is mandatory. What I love about that, is that there is always a parent in the classroom along side the teacher, and there is more one-on-one attention for the child.

Now that the end of the year is sneaking up on us, and it’s time to make the choice of where RJ will attend school for kindergarten. We had several options, including Homeschool which I was actually going to do (but remembered we’re having a baby this fall and I know their would be mayhem, but I loved the idea of having slow mornings, no drop offs, and the freedom to travel whenever we want). Then we considered keeping him at his private school for one more year (they teach up to kindergarten) but this coming school year I will officially be a stay at home mom, we would have Elias in school (which I’m paying tuition for), and then RJ. Financially it would be almost triple what we normally pay now. Then the final option was public school, at our zoned elementary school. RJ LOVES the idea of going to a “big kid school” but I was nervous for him. I felt like it was me who wasn’t ready for him to go. I just think of everything he’s going to be exposed to, because kid’s are soooo advanced nowadays, and his mind is so innocent. But our plan is to do AT LEAST half a year at his school, while I transition to life at home with a newborn, Joel and Elias (3 days a week). And once Christmas break comes, we’ll reevaluate and see where we stand and how RJ is doing and how he likes elementary school.

So anyways, the point I’m honestly trying to get to is RJ wasn’t always on board with attending a new school, and making new friends, and having 18+ new classmates rather than 8. There were a few things my husband and I did, to get him excited about the newest chapter in his life.

 

Tips to make the transition from preschool to Elementary School as smooth as possible:

  1. Drive them by their new school: We like to drive RJ through the car line (after school hours, because why would I torture myself like that) to show him where I’ll drop him off, and how his “big kid school” looks like. I showed him his new playground that he’ll get to play on. And needless to say he was stoked!
  2. Show them your old elementary school yearbooks (if you have them): I love to show RJ my old yearbooks, because I show him what my teachers looked like! I also love to show him my friends. He knows that Maddie is my best friend, and I showed him pictures of Maddie in my second grade class and where she signed my year book. I let him know that some of my closest friends were met in Elementary school, and they helped me feel better about being so small in a huge school.
  3. Tell them stories about when you were in school: This piggy backs off of number 2, but I shared some fun stories about field trips we took, and riding the bus to those places. Having parent chaperones (which I know 100% will be me!). I also tell him about having your very own lunch number that’s kind of like having a debit card. You go in line to get your food, and tell them your number and you pay for the food yourself! I Do plan on packing his lunch, but at least once a week I plan on allowing him to get lunch from school, probably on pizza day!
  4. Letting them know ahead of time about what to expect: I told RJ he will have at least 18 kids in his class, but this is an opportunity to make 18 new friends! I also let him know that I wont be walking him to his class every morning, but now that he’s a little older he gets more big boy responsibilities. Also I let him know that the days are a little longer. He totally gets it, and is excited about the change!
  5. Start working on kindergarten skills now: I am thankful RJ is very advanced and scored above average in ALL his VPK testing, so it’s not a ton of work on my end, but we have been using Kindergarten Toolkit every day when we gets home to go over what he already learned. It’s recommended to do a minimum of 30 minutes per week of Kindergarten Toolkit to build that solid academic foundation to start kindergarten, But we honestly do activities everyday, and RJ loves it. He told me “I like this kind of learning!”. The Kindergarten toolkit is designed for moms like me (no teaching background) to have the materials and tools to get their future kindergarten scholar ready for the school year. What I love about the toolkit, is that you can reuse it with your other kids, and their is no set age limit on it. I started working on colors and shapes with my 2 year old, and when he’s ready I will move onto harder flashcards! So you may ask, what comes with the kindergarten tool kit?
    1. The tool kit booklet which focuses on 10 main kindergarten goals.
      • There are 3-4 mini lessons per goal
    2. 4 sets of flashcards
      • Upper and lowercase letters
      • Numbers 1-20
      • 25 kindergarten sight words
      • 10 colors and shapes
    3. Whiteboard and Dry erase marker
    4. Pencil and Eraser
    5. Sidewalk chalk- for outdoor learning.

I’m no child psychologist and I’m not entirely sure these tips will work with your child, but I can say it’s working for him so far! Congratulations on your child completing preschool and starting kindergarten, this is a huge milestone in their life and yours! If you need me, I’ll be in the car line shedding a tear or 100.


Thank you Kindergarten Toolkit for partnering with me on this post! All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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