Yesterday was the first day of school for our girls. It was my youngest daughter's first day of full day Kindergarten. She *just* turned 5 so this was a harder transition for her (or maybe me!!) than when her big sister started half day Kindergarten at almost 6 yrs old.
Like with my oldest I planned ahead to help all of us with the transition. I talked about school for MONTHS ahead and brought it into daily conversations. We also visited the school in the summer and went to Meet the Teacher night.
Last weekend I rearranged their closets so both girls could reach their own clothes (my youngest used to have hers up high) and made sure they had enough school appropriate outfits. This can be a challenge here in HOT HOT AZ as they're back to school even though it's still 100+ degrees outside. They aren't allowed to wear thin strapped tops or dresses which is well, pretty much all they wear in this weather!
The night before school started we had a special dinner with sparkling grape juice toasts, picked out first day dresses, read 4 books about starting school and I gave my youngest a special matching necklace. I did the same with my oldest when she started K. She wears a necklace and I wear a matching one so that when we miss each other we can touch our necklaces and remember that the other person is missing us/thinking of us. Basically it's a cute and easy transition object (remember I used to be a therapist....using my skills people, using my skills).
- We Like Kindergarten - A little Golden Book from the 60s. Honestly it isn't very relevant for school today as those little kids had nap time, juice and cookies and clay play...but still a fun book.
- The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing - This book was my favorite and I will admit to crying at the end. Sigh. Highly recommend!
- Teachers are for Reading Stories by Harriet Ziefert. We have a few books from this series (cousins, mommies, daddies, etc) and my girls loved the lift-the-flaps aspect of it.
- Last but not least: Katy's First Day a vintage 1970's "Tell-A-Tale" book. I LOVE these tiny little vintage hardback books and have collected dozens for my kids. This sweet story is about a reluctant kindergarten girl who starts out not participating in the school day but ends up loving it! It's the cutest. Here is another copy on Etsy.
She loved her necklace and I made sure to add an initial for my oldest to my necklace so she knew I was missing her too! They are both birds and mine has an extra pearl added. I purchased them from an Etsy shop rememberZEN.
The morning of school I snuck little love notes into their lunch boxes and pennies in their pockets (as a mommy surprise). We got to school early and I walked both of them to class.
The Kindergarten teacher had the kids sit down in the reading circle and she read "The Night Before Kindergarten". I mentioned that book above, it is one of the books I read the night before so I knew what to expect. Basically the book is about a first day and how the kids were fine but the parents were surprisingly emotional and teary. In the book the teacher reads a book and then the kids give their parents hugs and send them on their way.
Well that was exactly what my daughter's teacher did which was both humorous and emotional. And oh yes, I did cry as she gave me that last goodbye hug and a cheery "by mom, see you later".
She was totally fine but I was a wreck. It's a big transition for both of us as I no longer have any littles at home! Boo hoo.
They both had a great first day and I'm easing into my new normal...will keep you posted. :)
For more first day of school tips check out my oldest's Kindergarten transition back in 2013.