Dr. Raynice Jean-Sigur

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Summer vacation is almost over and it’s time to get back to school. It can be an exciting yet…

Georgia (Jul 30, 2010) — Summer vacation is almost over and it’s time to get back to school. It can be an exciting yet nervous time for students heading to kindergarten. Some children may feel a little scared on their first day because of a new school, new teachers, and new rules. Starting school can influence a young child’s attitude, confidence and performance both socially and academically. The transition also may be difficult for parents. Dr. Raynice Jean-Sigur, an Associate Professor in Early Childhood Education in the Bagwell College of Education, offers some tips to help parents with those back-to-school jitters.

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Tips to Help Your Child Transition into Kindergarten 

· Establish a morning routine. Have the child help pick out his/her clothes and prepare his/her lunch for the day.    

· Visit the school with your child. Meet the child’s teachers and, if possible, the bus driver. If your child will ride the bus, become familiar with the route.  

· Help your child become familiar with his/her new school. Children at this age may need concrete objects to remember how to get from place to place. Help the child with landmarks, visual cues and familiar objects. 

· Share special and important information about your child with the child’s teacher, such as medical allergies, and favorite activities and colors. 

· Prepare your child for eating lunch in a cafeteria. Let the child practice carrying a tray, and opening milk cartons and ketchup packets at home or at a restaurant. 

· Create learning activities for your child with Play-Doh, clay, pencils, crayons, markers and paint. These activities develop motor skills, which promotes writing skills. 

· Praise your child to help build self–esteem.   

· Read stories about kindergarten to your child. When reading to your child, ask questions to see if he or she can remember what happened, can retell the story or can make up a new ending. These activities may help your child become a better reader and understand what is being read. 

· Assist with homework, and, if possible, attend school events and activities with your child. 

· When parents are less anxious children will learn that this is a fun and exciting time. Children learn from adults, so make this a happy time.


Books for Transition into Kindergarten 

1.     Davis, K. (2005). Kindergarten Rocks. New York: Harcourt.

2.     Carlson, N. (1999). Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come. New York: Viking.


Dr. Jean-Sigur is working to assist the youngest Georgians, children from birth to 5-years-old. She is the Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood, Birth to Five. The first students in the program will enroll next spring, and take courses based on current research to prepare them to work with infants and toddlers. Fewer than 2% of teachers in the state are professionally certified to teach in this age bracket. Previously, teachers only needed a high school diploma and a child development association credential. Dr. Jean-Sigur developed her expertise by serving on state and national boards related to educating young children. She has published and presented topics related to families, diversity and early childhood education in the United States and Costa Rica.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu