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• Reinforce basic safety rules. Your child should be able to say his or her name and address clearly. Try helping your child memorize your home phone number, too; it may be easier if you sing it together to tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.
• Encourage friendships with neighborhood children who are also starting kindergarten. Knowing even one child who will be sharing that first day can make a big difference.
• Tell your child to choose something from home to take to school. A favorite small toy or family photo can help ease homesickness.
• Take advantage of introductory days when you and your child can meet teacher and have an advance look at kindergarten classroom.
• Maintain a cheerful attitude towards school; chances are your child will then feel cheerful about it, too.
A kindergarten program should provide a warm, caring and fun-loving environment sensitive to individual differences, where each child has an opportunity to advance at his or her own rate. As children progress, they learn new things and meet new people. Your encouragement can help them feel good about themselves and their accomplishments; in years to come, this new-found independence will bring its own rewards, not only in school, but in rest of big wide world, as well.
Jane Lake is a successful freelance writer and editor of the top-ranked craft site, http://www.allfreecrafts.com, where you will find photos and full instructions for hundreds of craft projects. She also edits and produces http://www.allfreeprintables.com, which features printable recipe cards, chore coupons, school lists, check lists and paper toys.