Preparing for Kindergarten: What If I’m Not Ready?

But wait, I thought I had more time! Kindergarten registration is sneaking up on me, and I don’t know how to feel about it. Preparing for kindergarten has been on my mind, but it came up fast.

When I found out registration was this early in the year, my heart dropped. I am NOT ready for my daughter to start school. We’ve done daycare and preschool, but to have her start public school is so nerve-wracking for me. Thinking about homework, bus rides, and before and after school care while I’m still at work is weighing on me! 

We have been working since last year to get her ready for kindergarten, but how do I prepare myself too? I was so focused on her that I didn’t realize that I was the one not ready. So here are some things that we have been incorporating to help us both prepare for kindergarten in the fall. 

Establish Routines

Routines are very prominent in schools. So getting our kids used to following a more strict routine at home can help prepare them for the structure they will have. Starting, we incorporated a simple morning routine. We began our day by waking up, getting dressed, and eating breakfast while I do her hair. This is what we will be doing every day before school anyway. Establishing a routine will help everyone prepare for the school year.

Preparing for Kindergarten: What If I’m Not Ready?Promote Independence 

Help them help themselves! They will need to be able to do a lot on their own when they are in kindergarten. Help them understand how to get dressed by themselves, use the restroom alone, and how to manage their belongings. In our home, we have been working on bringing a few belongings in a bag when we leave the house. She has to keep track of them and be responsible with them while we are away from home. 

Kindergarten Readiness

This is the first thing most people think when preparing for kindergarten. The academics like knowing numbers, letters, colors, sight words, etc. These things are very important in preparing for kindergarten. However, you don’t have to stress too much! Your child needs a basic knowledge that can be built upon, but they aren’t expected to know everything perfectly. We have been working through workbooks and flashcards to get her ready. It’s important to be involved in their academics so you know where they could use support in learning.

Communication with Teachers 

Being involved in their academics leads to communication with teachers. We have instilled in our daughter to be open with her teachers because they are there to help her. Whether it’s a conflict or just a question, we tell her to always talk to her teacher. Help them feel confident in asking questions and asking for help. Not only does she need to be able to communicate with her teachers effectively, but we as parents also need to. Having an open line with their teacher is very important for their success! Talking about academics and social and emotional skills with their teacher is one of the best ways to support them. We have always felt it is important to get to know their teacher and create a positive atmosphere for open conversation. This way everyone can feel more comfortable.

Prepare for Separation 

This one can be hard. Separation anxiety is a real thing, and a lot of kiddos have it. I know I am going to have a hard time leaving her every day. But preparing them and telling them how the day will go and even having a little routine for drop off can help a ton. I experience this in my role as a daycare teacher. Having a drop off routine helps them feel secure and safe. Along with a routine, my daughter and I have bracelets that match that we will wear every day so we are connected even though we are apart. I’ve had a few friends tell me that having a small token from home can help them feel at peace while at school. 

Promote a Positive Attitude 

It can be overwhelming and scary for your child to start kindergarten. Keeping a positive attitude towards it is very important! As a parent who is very nervous for my daughter to start, I try to say all the good things around her. I want to get her excited to go! We talk about all the fun things she will do and get her excited. I keep my inner thoughts and reservations for other adults who can relate. The last thing I want is to stress her out about going!

In conclusion, being nervous is okay! Preparing for kindergarten for your child but also yourself is crucial! It won’t look the same for every child, nor should it. Find what works for your family and just know that you can do this! They can do this! You all can do this! 

Other Helpful Resources

Find out when your school’s registration is and which school your child should attend with these boundary maps.

Boise School District

West Ada

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

Emma Dorsett
Emma is a mom to two beautiful girls, Alice (2018) and Avery (2021). She loves all things Taylor Swift and picking up new hobbies. Embroidery, reading, and sourdough are her go to, but she is willing to try just about anything. She has a background in early childhood education and has worked with children since 2018.


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