Kindergarten Survival Guide, as needed by the Action News at 4 anchors

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Thursday, August 29, 2019
Kindergarten Survival Guide, as needed by the Action News at 4 anchors
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Kindergarten Survival Guide, as needed by the Action News at 4 anchors. Alicia Vitarelli has more on Action News at 4 p.m. on August 28, 2019.

For some kids, "back-to-school" is more like "first time at school."

Brian, Adam and I are all about to send our kids to our kindergarten. Yes, we blinked.

The Action News at 4 babies, Priscilla, Jacob, Brady and Sawyer, all born in 2014, are all headed to kindergarten. The kids tell us they are excited, but we, the parents, could use a little survival guide.

I enlisted the help of some local and wise rising first graders, like 6-year-old Spencer, who is headed to his second year at Greenfield Elementary in Center City.

"Kids, you're going to love kindergarten," Spencer says, "because it's one big step up."

His mom, Jacalyn Pollock, says parents should stress less and give your kids some credit.

"He did a great job in kindergarten, easing my concerns that he wouldn't be mature enough or that he couldn't handle this transition," Pollock says. "He proved me wrong."

Also, as they ease into a new schedule, keep September light.

"We did scale back on activities because of the added work and trying not to overload him," Pollock said.

Sharon O'Malley says after a long day, parents should give the kids some space, and some grace.

"Be prepared for exhaustion," she says. "Let them have some downtime. They've held it together all day long and sometimes you get the breakdown at the end of the day."

Her daughter, 6-year-old Helen, is headed into first grade at Waldron Mercy Academy in Merion Station. She says the school days are packed with exciting new subjects.

"Gym, music, Spanish and art," Helen says.

O'Malley also says parents should make room in their own schedules for new school events and activities.

"For moms and dads, I would also suggest bringing some tissues on the first day," O'Malley says.

But Alanna, a 6-year-old rising first-grader from Deptford, New Jersey assures us, "Parents, you don't have to worry about anything, your kids will be fine."

"Kids, you will have fun," she adds. "I promise. I went through this all last year."

Here's some more sage advice from other first grade friends.

"Follow directions and be good in every single room you go in," 6-year-old Damon tells us, "including hallways and buses."

"Don't be nervous, you'll make new friends," says 6-year-old Penelope.

"Listen and be grateful for what you have," 6-year-old London reminds us.

Okay, I think we're ready!