Tips from a San Diego Tutor: How to tell your kindergartner it’s time to go back to school
It’s that time of year once again; parents have to help their kids adjust to being back in the classroom after a long winter break. After a few years, students start to adjust to having a couple of weeks off and then gear up for the rest of the school year. For a kindergartner, however, this is the first year they have had to transition. Some kids love to be at home doing crafts, watching their favorite TV shows, and playing with their friends in the neighborhood. Others may love going to school and have lots of friends they look forward to seeing in January. Regardless, one of the best ways to help young learners adjust to the confines of the classroom is to prepare them for the transition ahead of time.
1. Talk about time in general
What is, in reality, only two weeks might see more like three months to a little kid whose concept of time is different from an adult’s. A kindergartner’s entire life is defined within a five year period and so two weeks carries a lot more weight than it does for us. Talking with kids about time, in general, can help them both with the transition to and from winter break as well as understanding time as it relates to other topics. If kids know they’re going to be gone from school but they will come back after holiday celebrations they’ll be more prepared to give their attention to their teacher after the New Year (READ: Time management: The key to success during middle school).
2. Structure during the holidays
It can be a major challenge to maintain a consistent structure during the holiday season. Families travel or have relatives who come to visit, and there are festivities going on day and night. However, if kindergartners can have just a little bit of structure during their time off, they’ll have an easier transition back to the classroom. Maybe they have story time for an hour in the afternoon or play outside in the late morning.
3. Friends from school
Most kids have a few friends at school who don’t live within their immediate neighborhood. As a result, they don’t get to play with them as much over break and may be looking forward to seeing their peers back at school. This can be a great icebreaker for parents to talk about with their little ones. Some younger students even get a little bit bored over the holidays and look forward to going back to school if they have a few friends waiting for them.
4. An intellectual challenge
Even though it may not be at the forefront of their minds, many kindergartners miss having the academic challenges that greet them each day in the classroom. They’re learning about letters and numbers and using their imagination on a regular basis. Some of this starts to subside during winter break because of all the celebrations and travel. Kids who have picture books or number games to play with are more excited to go back to school. In fact, there are tons of apps available for young kids that can help them stay challenged during the break.
5. Winter camp
Just as many kids attend a camp during the summer, there are winter camps available when kids are out of school, but parents are still expected to be at work. Many of these camps provide more than just daycare, in fact, they might help a child learn about a specific interest they’ve wanted to pursue or help them with an academic subject that’s a little bit too tough. Kids who spend time at these programs are often ready to go back into the classroom without complaint.
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