The first day of kindergarten is just around the corner. You’ve spent hours shopping for school supplies, picking out the perfect lunchbox, and trying (sometimes failing) to understand exactly how Car Line works.
With all that logistical planning, it’s important to pause and make sure your child is mentally and emotionally ready for the first day. It’s natural to have multiple emotions when starting something new, and kindergarten can be both exciting and nerve-wracking.
Here are a few tips to make sure your child is prepared and confident for their first day of school:
Catch some Zzzz’s.
Getting a good night’s sleep is always a good thing, but it’s extra important before a big day. Start winding down early in the evening. Read your child a book (maybe even a book about kindergarten), put on some soft music, light a candle or start a diffuser, and set the scene for a peaceful night’s rest.
Take it slow.
Even adults get stressed out when they are frantically running out the door. Set your alarm early enough to give your child a little breathing room. Have all their kindergarten school supplies packed and ready to go, set out the first-day outfit the night before, know what you’re having for breakfast, and allow plenty of time to get ready.
Answer all the quesions.
This will come as no surprise to any parent, but children have a lot of questions. Make time to listen to and answer their questions without distraction. Assure them that feeling nervous, excited, or any other emotion is normal and manageable. You can also read some books together that help answer questions and calm first-day jitters. Two great options are On the First Day of Kindergarten and The Kissing Hand.
Do a dress rehearsal.
Drive by the school building and point out the entrance, playground, and anything else that interests your child. At Harding Academy, we provide opportunities like sneak peeks and meet-the-teacher nights where children can get familiar with their new surroundings and get comfortable with their teacher and classmates. If you can’t visit the school building in person, look up pictures of the school online and do a dress rehearsal at home.
Make an exit plan.
The end of the school day can feel hectic and confusing, with multiple bells ringing and everyone packing up their things. Some kids will ride the bus, some will be picked up by their parents, and some may go to Ride Waiting. Talk through the end of the kindergarten day with your child and make sure they understand the plan for getting home.
With some preparation and reassurance, your child can be set up for success on day one of kindergarten. Here’s wishing you a happy back-to-school season!
Written by Lori Underwood (Lower School Principal), Rosie Hubbard (Assistant Lower School Principal), and Candice Goff (Creative Director).
At Harding Academy, we are creatively educating the next generation to be strong and courageous disciples of Christ who serve and influence the world for His glory. Interested in a tour or to learn more? Visit:
1100 Cherry Rd
Memphis TN 38117-5400
1106 Colonial Rd
Memphis TN 38117-5538