Monday, September 7, 2009

Kindergarten transitions: How is it going?

This is a thread for people to share their experiences with the the kindergarten transition. How are your children dealing with the transition? Any tears? How are you working through the tears and meltdowns? Are your kids eating their lunches? Any tricks on getting kids out the door on time in the morning? Are you happy with your school? What has surprised you most about your school. Please share your stories and tips.

Here's a link to a post from last year on the same topic. The comments might help those who are in the midst of the transition.


  1. We did a quick intro of the school classroom with the teacher before kindergarten really started. On the first day of kindergarten, my son insisted on getting dropped off at the curb and going in by himself. Quick goodbye and off he went. Sort of anticlimactic, from my end.

    I realize that our example is not the norm as I talk to other parents about their kid's transitions. The consensus seems to be - "where did this shy, needy kid come from?" and "Kindergarten is way more structured and my kid doesn't like it."

  2. Well we felt quite pleased after the first week - no tears, no drama. In the 2nd and 3rd weeks, the teary goodbyes have set in. Wondering how long they will last. The teacher reports that the crying doesn't last long and that is consistent with how our kid has always been, emotional when we're leaving and then fine when we're gone. I hope it's true.

    We're finding our kid really needs more playground/running around time after school, now that lunch + recess is something like 55 minutes total.

    It's very hard to pry out of the kid what exactly is happening in the classroom, what material is being covered etc. but the school part of school seems to be going ok.

    We're at a uniform school and I've been surprised how well that has gone, I thought the kid would fuss about wanting freedom to wear anything she wants, but it hasn't been an issue.

    And, the 8:40 start time is a bit of a pain b/c the school is across town and if we don't leave the house by 8:05 sharp the traffic is horrendous, and even so I have been late to work every day, since we have to drop off our preschooler after leaving the firstborn at school.

    Lots of adjustments all around.

  3. My daughter seems really happy at one of the more popular schools. She said she was scared before starting, but was happy from day one, always seems to have little friends she is talking to and holding hands with, and has no problems with me leaving. She isn't telling me much about what she does, but more is slowly coming out, and she already seems to have a strong pride in her school. It is a more artsy school, and this might make the transition less harsh. It is also a great fit for her. I was much more emotional.

    Much as she likes school, she has been incredibly tired, and has a low tolerance for being exposed to yet more new people or situations outside of school right now, so we are trying to keep things calm and predictable at home.

  4. Like others, my kid is exhausted when we pick him up. He really still needs a nap after lunch.

    He's always hungry after school because he'd rather run around at recess than eat his snack or lunch.

    The 9:30am start time was wonderful for one week until we signed him up for enrichment class that starts at 8:15am. I can't imagine attending a school with a 7:50am start.

    We still can't wedge a word out of him about what happened at school that day, but he appears to be loving it.

    Our transition was suprisingly smooth. It was harder on me than on him. Seems to me that preschool makes a big difference in those first few weeks at least. Some kids know to immediately sit criss-cross-apple-sauce in front of the teacher when she calls, while others still have to be corralled.

  5. My son's been very happy. And he had to do two transitions, first into our Round 2 assignment at the start, and then into our waitlist school on the 2nd Monday.

    But he took it all well. He was very excited about moving up to Kindergarten from his preschool. When I picked him up at the end of the first day of school, he hugged the after-care teachers goodbye, so I figured he had a good time. And it was a long day - 7:50 start time, and the aftercare program until 5:00.

    He liked getting his new uniform clothes, and always seemed happy when I picked him up (and wanting to stay longer).

    On the first Friday I got news we got our waitlist and he would start at the new school on Monday. When I picked him up I quickly told him that on Monday he was going to a new school that was in our neighborhood, and this was his last day here. He wasn't distressed - he bounded over to the aftercare teachers & told them the news, and gave them hugs, then we went to his classroom, picked up his "journal", and said goodbye to his K teacher.

    Though the aftercare program at his new school was filled, he gets to ride the bus to an offsite program with a bunch of other kids from the school. He was SOOO excited to get to go on the bus!

    The only downside has been that both of the schools are 7:50am start. Though he's not a late sleeper, almost always up by 7:00, it's challenging to be ready to go by 7:30 when he used to be able to chill out playing or watching a little TV after he was ready before we needed to leave.

  6. Oh, and he seems to like the cafeteria lunches, and we're glad we don't have to make lunch anymore like we did in preschool.

    Bonus is that with no naps at Kinder, he falls asleep super-fast at night and we can get him to bed at about 7:30-7:45 instead of before when he wouldn't be asleep till 8:30-9:00.

  7. We had a wonderful start at Marin Prep. Our daughter is on the young side (late fall birthday) and I was a little worried about the adjustment. Much to my delight, she is waking us up in the morning to get ready for school and doesn't even notice us once we get there.

    The teachers and head of school have done an amazing job getting the kids acclimated and confident about their new surroundings - which are warm, vibrant and inviting. One of the things I love is their "Stop the World" segment which allows the kids some self-selected quiet time activity after lunch to recuperate.

    The only "negative" is that she rarely finishes her lunch because she is "having too much fun to eat." :)