The first day of kindergarten marks one of the most significant transitions in a child’s life. After learning the ABCs and how to count to 100, kids have to learn more difficult lessons about how to get along with others and, you know, sit still. Homework is also a more common challenge these days — much to the chagrin of many parents. For all these reasons, the beginning of the school year can be difficult to navigate. It’s not easy to figure out what kindergarten to send a child to, whether to hold back a child born in the summer, or how to teach them to make new friends when they may not know anyone in their class. There are so many decisions to be made.
That’s why Fatherly built this guide to kindergarten. We talked to educators, therapists, and even a childhood nutritionist about everything parents need to know on this big milestone, including kindergarten reading and math, what to expect the first day of kindergarten, what kind of lunch to start packing, and more.