How to help your child in transition from Kindergarten to First Grade


The time of transition from kindergarten to first grade is an exciting time for children. But it can also be frightening for many. Know how you can help your child in transition from Kindergarten to First Grade smoothly.

Being in education field for 9 years now and working with Trio World School where children from Trio Tots (Kindergarten) go to First Grade, I understand that the time of transition is unsettling for both kids and parents.

Transition from kindergarten to first grade

The early education literature validates the notion that not only is the move from preschool to kindergarten daunting but transition from a relatively warm, caring, child-centered kindergarten to a potentially more intimidating and less flexible first grade classroom is also quiet a struggle for many children and their parents.

In fact, this transition has been called a critical period for young children’s social and academic development

Parents & School authorities often are faced with the challenging tasks of attending to the cognitive, social and emotional changes that children experience during this important time of transition.

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What Causes Transition Stress

  • Half day to full day
  • Eating lunch at school everyday. Lunches return half eaten.
  • Having their own desk with their own things instead of tables and carpet squares
  • New teacher and new friends
  • Varied teaching strategies and pedagogy
  • Shorter play time

Here are some tips for Parents to help your child in this transition smoothly. First I am going to talk about what you can do before the school starts.

1. Assess Readiness for First Grade

Readiness addresses a child’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional development at a particular time. A child’s level of readiness in August will be very different from what it is in December. 

Here is a checklist that you can use to assess the skills of your child before he enters first grade for smooth transition. This checklist will help you understand social, reading, writing, listening, speaking and math’s skills of your child.

Show me the Skills Assessment Checklist

Understand your kid and start working with him starting now. Do not wait for Summer Holidays. Some skills are developed over the period of time.

2. Review current skills and Reinforce them

Parents can help their child adjust to the academic expectations of first grade by reviewing skills they learned in kindergarten. During summer vacation, parents can take advantage of learning opportunities.

For example, when looking at animals at the zoo, parents can review the alphabet by asking their child to say the letter that an animal begins with, like Z for zebra. A trip to the grocery store can be a learning experience with parents reinforcing number skills by having their child say the numbers they see on products at the store.

Make sure they start reading books in summer holidays.

3. Get familiar with the school

Before the first day of school, visit the school with your child so that the route, the building, and school surroundings become familiar. Most of the schools do have Orientation / Open Day for parents, make sure your child is part of the Orientation. Let the child meet the class teacher and visit the classroom

4. Start the routine early

About a week or so before the start of school, begin putting your child to bed at a normal time for a school night. For a week before school starts, be sure your child gets up, is dressed and fed like a regular school morning.

5. Practice being organized

Some children have difficulty keeping track of their belongings. They do not know what is theirs. They need practice to get dressed and to get organized.

6. Let your child be a part of the planning

Children need to see what mom and dad have purchased for them. This is necessary so that they can recognize it at school.

7. Prepare your child to be Independent

Increased responsibility and expectations are another major change for kindergarten students. They are used to having very little homework, and they are usually always in groups when working in class.

First grade teachers will assign homework that is more challenging, and they will expect the students to complete most classwork independently. Parents can reinforce this by encouraging their children to complete homework by themselves and then bring it to them to check. Parents can also give their child a few more responsibilities at home like being sure his backpack is ready to go every morning.

These tips will help your child transition into the new environment. Always Remember  – A little preparation can help pave the way to a successful transition.

After the first few weeks, your child should feel fairly comfortable in Grade 1.

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If your child is still having problems, there could be a deeper issue. To know what you can do, read how you can help your child with the transition after he has started going to school.

Transition from kindergarten to first grade 2

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Greshma Momaya is a fervent early childhood educator since a decade always wanting to use her knowledge & expertise in the field of Child Development to help children lead a thoughtful life. Her degrees in Human Development and School Counselling have motivated her to be a passionate educator since decade and still continuing her work as a Preschool Coordinator at Trio Tots, preschool initiative of Trio World School, Sahakaranagar. Her expertise lies in setting up preschool and developing early childhood curriculum and activities. Along with her work as coordinator, she supports children with Phonetics, wherein she conducts Phonetics workshops and classes for Children, Teachers & Parents. She also honoured with “Education Expert” on Super mums of India. She also writes articles on various early childhood topics. Mighty Minds is also one of her ventures wherein they develop customized Phonics Curriculum & Summer Camp Curriculum. They are also coming up with Home school Curriculum and activity bags for children.

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