Raising Readers in Story County

Kindergarten Expectations

Getting Ready for the First Day of Kindergarten

Starting Kindergarten is an exciting time for both you and your child. Research shows that children who start school with positive feelings and a degree of comfort are more likely to be academically successful and continue to be successful in the next several years of school. You can help your child become excited about starting school by doing the following:

  • Talk with him about the new things that he will learn in Kindergarten.

  • Talk about her friends that she might see in Kindergarten or at her new school. Tell her that it will take a few days to make new friends.

  • Listen to his feelings and answer his questions about school.

  • Visit the school or school playground to help her become familiar with the building and surroundings. Drive the bus route or drive to school and practice saying good-bye at the front door, in the car, at the end of the hallway, or at the classroom door can be very helpful.

  • Share your enthusiasm about him starting school. On the first day of Kindergarten, tell him that you love him and you look forward to seeing him after school and hearing all about his day. Avoid any comments such as “I don’t know what I’ll do without you all day” or “I’m going to miss you and be so lonely without you.”

  • Read children's books about going to school to help her know what to expect and encourage her to talk about her feelings.

For suggested children's books about Kindergarten and more ideas to share with your child, download the "Countdown to Kindergarten" parent handout.

Online Resources:

Early Childhood Iowa: Getting School Ready in Iowa Brochure

Ames Public Library Children's Booklist: Off to School

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