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“I am worried about her:” How you can make the transition easier for kids about to start kindergarten

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MILWAUKEE -- It's a day that comes with a lot of excitement and apprehension. The first day of kindergarten for kids in the Milwaukee area is coming up fast. Childcare experts say there are a few things you can do to make the transition easier for you and your child.

Getting your child ready for kindergarten

Getting your child ready for kindergarten

At Penfield Children's Center, Rya Massek spends a lot time with her daughter, Mia. But on August 29th, Mia starts kindergarten.

"She calls it her big girl school. She is very excited about that," said Rya Massek.

Mom is a little nervous.

"I am worried about her out there in the world on her own without me being with her each day," said Massek.

They have been preparing for weeks.

"We do read every night and we will spend some time where she will read the book to us," said Massek.

Something you can do at home to get kids ready for kindergarten is tie in reading with arts and crafts. That is something they did at Penfield when they were studying creatures from under the sea.

Through the Kohl's Building Block program at Penfield, Rebecca Michelsen hosts workshops for parents, helping them prepare.

"I'd say the biggest thing is routine," said Michelsen.

Michelsen suggests the following:

  • Push back your child's bedtime each week.
  • Read books about going back to school.
  • Take your child into school ahead of time for a tour.
  • Practice a quick goodbye routine.
Getting your child ready for kindergarten

Getting your child ready for kindergarten

"So a hug, a kiss, a squeeze and send them on their way. Don't linger as they say 'I need you, come back' because that makes the separation more difficult," said Michelsen.

Massek jokes she will cry more than Mia.

"We both will have some of those separation issues to deal with," said Massek.

Child development experts at Penfield say children should know basic skills, like how to say their ABCs or count to 10, by the time they reach kindergarten.


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