As parents, we do everything we can to prepare our kids for the start of their education. We send them to preschool, attend orientation, and give them instructions on what to do — and what not to do — when they get to kindergarten. And then we watch them venture off into their schools, terrified and excited and hopeful for our babies and their futures. But, as parents, we're not the only source of back-to-school information or support. Romper spoke to 21 kindergartners and asked them to to share their back-to-school advice for preschoolers, because who better to dish on the ins and outs of kindergarten than kindergarteners themselves, right?
My middle child is a new kindergartner and is still pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. So far, he's most excited about riding the bus, going to the library, and playing with his friends. The whole sitting still and staying quiet thing, though? Yeah, he's still working on that part. Today, after school, he told me that sometimes he wishes he could just stay at home with me, and I have to admit I cried a tad. Turns out, my kid starting kindergarten was a big adjustment for me, too.
But we both know we're not the only ones figuring out kindergarten. I have the solidarity and support of a slew of parents who are going through the same thing, and my son has an entire classroom of kids who are attending kindergarten for the first time, too. And, not surprisingly, we're all getting the hang of things and adjusting to this new milestone and what it means for all of us on our own terms and in our own time.
But having all the information we can find has helped my kid and I adjust to the best of our abilities, which is why I'm not above asking kindergarteners for any advice. So with that in mind, here are some hilarious, honest, adorable pieces of back-to-school wisdom from brand new kindergarteners. They know what they're talking about, folks.
"You should listen and be good in the cafeteria. Like, if you burp, say excuse me. Also, my teacher said you shouldn't say 'What the heck!' but I don't know why."
"Be kind, but don't eat the food."
"You might go on the bus and you might have field trips, like I do. When you get there you will get to do centers, which is really just playing with toys. You still get to take naps! You should listen to the teacher and never hit anyone."
Writer's Note: This is my kid. I'm so jealous that he gets naps.
"Don’t wear sandals, too much rocks on the playground."
"Don't pull down your pants until you are in the bathroom."
"Learn about outer space stuff. It's really cool."
"The most important thing is to never, ever, ever, never, ever drop the think jar."
Writer's Note: Liv's mom explained that the “think jar” is a jar full of glitter that you hold to think about your behavior.
"There’s no nap time, but if you get tired you can tell the nurse your tummy hurts and you can sleep."
"Listen to your teachers."
"There's a huge hallway that you have to walk down to go to lunch, PE, art, and library, with lots of kids.
Always make sure you walk in a line, use your walking feet, use your 'zero voice,' keep your hands at your sides, don't be distracted by the big kids, and listen to your teacher."
"Say 'hi' or 'hello' to everyone and don’t use rude words, only use nice words."
"You can bring your lunch and get hot lunch!"
"You have to be nice to the kids and teachers, and quiet in the hallways. Like 'level zero' quiet. You can do mostly what you want on the playground, though."
"Listen to the teacher and don't play with your friends while she's talking or she'll get really mad."
"They should be my friend and pay nicely with me. They mustn't hit, kick, or shout at each other. They are not allowed to swear. They must say good things to each other."
"You get to go to the bathroom whenever you want."
"Be careful of tarantulas, who are evil spiders you can tame with bugs. The big ones come from the jungle. Be nice to the teachers, because then they’ll be nice to you. Make sure you get good snacks."
Writer's Note: Liam's mom has no idea where the tarantula thing is coming from. His class has pet gerbils.
"Learn the flag poem."
Writer's Note: The flag poem is the Pledge of Allegiance.
"Learn how to wipe your butt before you go to school. Don’t eat your big lunch at little lunch. Don’t forget to take your fruit."
"They don’t need my advice. It’s preschool... they can figure it out. They aren’t babies anymore."
"Remember to put your name on your paper and pick up your trash. You get to go to the playground, but follow the playground rules. You gotta listen to your teachers and follow the golden rule!”