The Transition From Kindergarten to Grade One

Children starting school full time can have very mixed feeling about the whole thing. In Kindergarten there were kids and toys to play with and new things to learn.

First Day At SchoolThe transition from part time to full time school, from Kindergarten to Grade One, can be hard for many young children. Here are some of the changes that they are facing when going to school every day all day:

  • School full time means more to learn at school
  • More homework
  • No playtime at school like in Kindergarten
  • Less play time at home
  • Less free time or down time at home
  • Less time with parents

Children often come home the first month or so from school, after going all day, very tired and maybe even a bit cranky. They are adjusting to the new routine. The time to relax and play is limited. Now toss in an activity like soccer or dancing and by the time dinner is complete and getting ready for bed is done, where is the playtime or down time for a child to relax?

Now somewhere in there homework needs to be done as well. Some kids walk in the door from school and do the homework. But for many doing homework becomes a hassle and this becomes quite frustrating to parents, who have also worked all day, taken their child to an activity or coached the activity itself, and now are needed to help with homework.

What Parents Can Do to Help With the Transition

Attending school full time may be a requirement, but that does not make it any easier. If a child is finding the change from Kindergarten to Grade One a bit overwhelming here are a few things parents could try doing to help their child adjust:

  • Try and see things from the child’s point of view
  • Let children express their feelings
  • Understand some children will be very tired
  • Some kids might be cranky, and this may be a feeling the child is having trouble dealing with
  • Point out the fun things about school
  • Give positive comments on the progress being made in learning
  • Find the time to play and to do family events

Find a Homework Place and Time That Works for Everyone

Some kids might do better doing homework in a quiet spot and some might like the comfort of a bit of noise in the background and knowing there is a helping hand nearby. Maybe it will change from day to day. The important thing is to find what the child is comfortable with and be flexible and encouraging and to try to prevent homework from becoming a resentful task.

Maybe at the kitchen table while supper is being prepared would be a good homework spot and time

Maybe a desk set up in the bedroom away from distractions would work better

Find a time to do homework when both child and parent are not rushed

If a child clearly needs a break after school do not force the homework issue; some kids like to do it right away, some kids need some down time from school stuff

Maybe break homework into sections with breaks in between

Let tired kids play or have a snack after school, then try again

Maybe from time to time parents and teachers could correspond so that now and then homework could be skipped or caught up with on the weekend

Going from part time Kindergarten to full time Grade One can be stressful for many kids. Parents can help ease this change by understanding the feelings and individual needs of children. By helping to find what works best for their child in terms of homework, parents are helping to set the base for good study habits. These steps together will successfully helping young children going into Grade One with the transition.

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