Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten? Are You?

September 6, 2011 | Iana

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Is your child attending kindergarten for the first time this September? It is an exciting time for my daughter and me and for many other newcomer parents and their kids who will experience the Canadian school system for the first time!

How can you help your child adapt to the new school routines and enjoy school?


READ PICTURE BOOKS ABOUT THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: Here are some picture books about starting kindergarten that you can share with your child. It can be comforting to show the child how a kindergarten classroom looks like and what are all the interesting fun things that happen there in a typical day.


Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten      Tom Goes to Kindergarten     Welcome to Kindergarten   


Kindergarten Diary    My Kindergarten  


KINDERGARTEN "SURVIVAL GUIDE": I found this very helpful "survival guide" (19 pages) about attending kindergarten for the first time. It is prepared by Canada's national charity organization Invest in Kids. You will get tips on school readiness skills, establishing morning routines, getting familiar with the new school, enjoying a successful first day at school and many more ideas for parents. A great resource!



(Source: The Toronto Catholic District School Board Kindergarten brochure. The brochure is also available online in translation in other languages - Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Ukrainian, Vietnamese.)

  • Talk to me about what school will be like and all the fun and wonderful things I will learn at school.
  • Talk to me about my first day. Help me to understand that not all my classmates will start school on the same day. We will start school in small groups.
  • Bring me to visit my school. Show me my classroom and let me meet my teacher.
  • Read books to me about school and making new friends.
  •  Help me start my day with a healthy breakfast. Help me pack a nourishing snack that does not contain nuts or nut products (since some of my friends may have allergies to nuts).
  • Make sure I get to bed early. I will need between 10-12 hours of sleep every night.
  • Make sure that I am dressed in comfortable clothes for the day’s weather.
  • Teach me how to be independent when dressing for all seasons.
  • Teach me how and who to ask for help when I need it.
  • Teach me how to use the washroom and how to wash my hands.
  • Give me time each day to play.


Similar Kindergarten booklet that lists things your child will learn in school during Kindergarten and things that parents can do at home - is available online from the Toronto District School Board in many languages - in Bengali, Chinese, Czech, Dari, Farsi, Gujarati, Hungarian, Obijway, Punjabi, Romanian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu, and Vietnamese.



 By kindergarten every child is encouraged to have their own library card. It is FREE and children can use it to borrow children's books, magazines, DVDs and CDs from any library in Toronto. We have found often that having their own library card is a very special experience for kids and they love when they can choose their own materials and show their card.

Ask the friendly children's librarian at your local branch for good books suggestions. And enjoy reading stories together in your home language too. The library has children's books in many languages!

All you need to do to get a library card is to visit the closest library together with your child. If the parent already has a library card, that is all that is needed to register the child.

Watch how one parent and her young daughter are getting a library card - a short video from the Library's youtube channel:




  • Library staff will visit schools to promote library use among kindergarten classes.
  • Kindergarten classes are invited to visit their closest library branch.
  • The library sends home an invitation to parents and caregivers to bring their kindergarten child to the library to receive their own Ready for Reading library card.



In Ontario there are two grades of kindergarten and they are both optional, but many families choose to enrol their children in junior kindergarten (JK) and senior kindergarten - SK (mandatory schooling begins in grade 1). Junior kindergarten begins for children who are turning four in a given calendar year. In most schools both kindergarten grades are run as a half-day program, but the Ontario government started a new full-day kindergarten program in 2010 and each year more schools are added to it. 


 And remember - "you are your child's best teacher"! Happy school year!



                                                   I Love School