Starting Kindergarten


My little guy is starting junior kindergarten this September. We have some things to do to get him ready.

I stay at home with my two kids – my almost-4 year old and my 2.5 year old – so we don’t have to transition my son out of daycare or look for before- and after-school care. We’re lucky that way.

What we do have to do is get my son ready for school. Preparations started last January when he started going to a city-run preschool program one morning a week. Then in April he went two mornings a week. This was his first time spending time with someone other than me or his immediate family and was pretty hard on him. Through the tears he eventually came to love preschool. The transition to school will no doubt be tough on him, but maybe it’ll be a little easier now since he went to preschool.

Next month we’re going to start getting him set up with all the things he needs for school. He needs some supplies, a backpack, a lunch bag of some sort (even though he’s half days he’ll still need a snack and water), a new pair of shoes to be kept at school, and extra clothes. And everything needs to be labelled.

The way his school works is every kid has an interview, a time where they get to meet their teacher and see their classroom. I’m not sure if this is for each kid individually or if there will be a few kids, but I like the idea of this time for him to check it out. He’s extremely shy and I can imagine him being overwhelmed with a whole class full of kids on the first day.

The next step is that half the kids start on a Friday in September, the other half go the following Monday, and they all go Tuesday. Again, I think this is a nice way to transition the kids to going to school every day, though I might think differently and be annoyed if I had to juggle childcare during this transition as well.

Come September I will go from having a toddler and a preschooler to a toddler and a kindergartner. It’s exciting and scary, but mostly exciting. My little guy is ready for school. Do you have a kid starting school this year? Any advice for me?


Kamerine Gardam
Kamerine has been blogging for 10 years, the past four and a half as a mom. She has a 4.5 year old son and a 3 year old daughter who was born at home with only her husband there to help. Completely transformed by that experience Kamerine is now working as a birth doula. She will be writing about her experiences parenting two young children, books her and her children love, and things to do in the city.

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  1. Awwww I remember when Monkey started I was so darn scared for him. Scared he wouldn’t make friends, scared he’d be upset without me, scared of well everything. My advice – don’t show your fears. Be positive and upbeat. No matter what I showed my son that school is fun and mommy is always just a phone call away. I’m sure your little guy will do great!

  2. I like the idea that they have to answer a few basic questions at the beginning of every school year. What do you want to be when you grow up? What is your favourite class/subject/time of day at school? Who is your best friend? Describe your teacher.

    Looking back through the years if fun. They always have a good laugh about it all. That is my suggestion to you. Have fun and enjoy this day. They go by quickly.

  3. I can’t wait for this day to come for us, although it’s a whole year away still. What a freeing and exciting time for everyone, and a true change to day-to-day life. Good luck!

  4. I was a little worried about my oldest starting JK because he cried at nursery school drop off every time for 18months; my fears came to be unfounded though, and he LOVED school. He is so excited to be heading into Grade 1 this year! Good luck!

  5. Awe… I have one starting JK, SK and grade 2 this year. When my first left for JK I cried and cried and really struggled with it emotionally. I hope your have more strength then I had. Remember it is harder on us then them, they will be doing so many fun activities. Be sure to keep yourself busy because for us SAHM it is very emotional. Best of luck!

  6. Great advice, thanks everyone! I love the idea of a little questionnaire at the beginning of the year, Margarita. What a great idea!

  7. Hi Kamerine, I stumbled upon this entry as I am frantically trying to search for a school for my son. We are currently living in Vancouver, but my husband may be starting a new job in Ottawa in October, so I am trying to get familiar with neighbourhoods and schools. Can you make any suggestions that could help us narrow down our search? Any would be welcome. If we don’t end up need to move suddenly, we are looking to arrive next summer, so I’ll have a little more time… 🙂
    Also, I see that you are a doula also. I’ve been practicing here and love it so much. I am finally finding a great balance between being on call and being a stay-at-home mom of 2 and 4 year olds! Thanks for the article and any advice you may have. Alexa Devine


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