First Grade Feels {Transitioning from Kindergarten}


It feels like it was only last month that I watched my oldest daughter step on the bus on her first day of Kindergarten, but here we are at almost the end of the summer and the first day of first grade is looming. Is it just me, or does first grade sound so much older than Kindergarten!? To the mamas that have a child starting in Kindergarten sometime in the future, I feel you.

Last summer, I was an emotional wreck heading into the start of Kindergarten and the end of her daycare days. I have never been good at “goodbyes,” but that transition hit me hard because although she was too young to understand the full reality of the situation, my heart felt it for her. Leaving friends that she played with at school since she was a baby and toddler, saying goodbye to teachers that helped her get ready for Kindergarten, entering a world of unknowns and independence – transitioning to Kindergarten is a big deal. 

I tried to make the transition to Kindergarten a special time for her and for me to help us soothe our Kindergarten jitters – we made matching bracelets to wear on the first day, we read The Kissing Hand, and we spent a special day together the day before school started full of our favorite things {pancakes, shopping, swimming, a Harry Potter movie, and Chinese food}.

While she was excited, my worries were at an all time high. Would she have someone to sit with at lunch and play with during recess? Would she speak up when she had to go to the bathroom? Would she remember all her ABCs? Was she ready? Would she pay attention in class? Would other kids be kind to her and would she be kind to them? Would she figure out how to buy lunch so she wouldn’t go hungry? Would her teacher notice how big of a heart she has and how silly she is? 

First day of Kindergarten bracelets and poem

After we went through all that, first grade doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal, right? After all, she’ll be going to the same school, will see familiar faces, and she’s an old hand at riding the bus. But here we are getting close and transitioning to first grade seems even bigger. Why? Is it because she will no longer be the youngest in the school and there will be more expected out of her? Or is it because she is now a number grade and will now have her own desk instead of sitting at a table in class? Or is it because the transition has made me realize how much she has grown since the start of Kindergarten and how proud I am for the little girl she is becoming. Yup, I think that about nails it.

First day of Kindergarten!

It happened right before my eyes in between ordinary moments during the year. Physically, she is taller, stronger, and her face has lost any hint of baby to it {seemingly overnight}. I got to witness many firsts and successes for her this year {first lost tooth, first dance recital, first time swimming underwater, first time reading a book on her own, first sleepover} and I’ve seen her confidence in herself grow and her personality bloom with each one. Although such a big deal is made out of Kindergarten, I can’t wait to show her how exciting it is to be going to first grade and how proud I am of her by spending a special day with her again this year on the day before school, to show her that the start of each year is a reason to celebrate.

Last day of Kindergarten!

To the mamas that have a child starting Kindergarten sometime in the future, I feel you. Kindergarten IS a big year. It will likely be a roller coaster of a year for both of you. You will worry, but from my experience last year, kids are innovative and resilient creatures. They will be okay. You will be okay. I promise that by the end of Kindergarten, you will be amazed at how much your child has grown…physically, emotionally, intellectually. Before you know it, you’ll see them come off the bus on their first day of summer vacation with big grins on their faces and you’ll wonder where the year has gone {make sure to have tissues on hand for those first and last days and don’t forget to be easy on both of you}. Your baby will head into the summer physically bigger and emotionally more confident than when they started Kindergarten. 

And because of this, the jump to first grade IS big. It’s big because they need you a little less and you can trust them more. This is going to happen every year. However, I am happy to say that I’m not starting first grade with the same worries as I did last year, which feels great {although, are moms every REALLY worry free?!}. As moms, we love to look back and be sad about all that has gone. This school year, I’m trying to focus on pride for how much my child has grown and all there is to look forward to in the future.

How do handle school year transitions?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here