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pre-K - tips to get your child ready for pre-K
Posted in , on June 24, 2024

Pre-K starts Aug. 14

Is your child going to pre-K next year? It’s not too early to start getting ready because school starts August 14. That’s only seven weeks away.

Starting pre-K is really exciting, but it can also be a little scary. It’s a big change for a 3- or 4-year-old. (It’s a big change for mom and dad, too.) So, if you can do a few things to prepare, it will help your child – and you – have as smooth of a transition as possible.

Here are few things you can do over the summer to help your child be ready for pre-K.

〉Read, read and read

Read aloud to your child everyday so they develop a love of reading that will help them in school and for the rest of their lives. Children who read improve their vocabulary, reading comprehension and standardized test scores.

It’s also great to visit the library and let your child pick out books. And go to the library during a read-aloud time so your child gets used to hearing someone other than their parents read aloud in a group setting.

〉Read books about going to school

“There are PLENTY of books about first days at school,” said Ken Foster, an early childhood learning specialist for Arlington ISD. “My favorite is Eric Litwin’s ‘Pete the Cat: Rockin’ in my School Shoes.’”

Dr. Hildelisa Diaz, the district’s early childhood coordinator, has some other book suggestions as well:

      • “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn
      • “David Goes to School” by David Shannon
      • “Will I Have a Friend?” by Miriam Cohen
      • “First Day of School” by Anne Rockwell

〉Practice letters and numbers

Practice the ABCs and letter sounds. And count and work on numbers, basic shapes and colors.

〉 Establish a routine

This will be especially important as we get closer to the first day of school, but it’s not too soon to start. Establish a routine of “early to bed” and “school wake-up time” several weeks before school begins so your child has time to adjust to the new schedule.

〉Talk about school and what it will be like

Have regular conversations with your child about school. Foster suggests asking some questions.

“I’d start by daily talking with your child about school, asking them:

Where is the school located? How will you get there?

Who else goes there?  Do you know other friends who attend this school?

What do you do at school? Where can you play outside?  Where do you go when you want to read lots of books?  Where do you think you’ll go to eat?

Take time to discuss each of these in detail to help them create mental pictures of school.”

〉Practice school

Your child will do a lot of things at school that might be new for them and even a little challenging. Things like opening their backpack, putting on their shoes, eating by themselves and a lot more.

“Practicing opening lunch items, opening and closing backpacks and zipping zippers or unbuttoning buttons will build confidence and independence in your child,” said Cindy Brown, Arlington ISD’s special education director. “Role playing things like saying hello to their teacher, visiting the campus, talking about what they hope they will get to do at school and sharing stories of your own early learning memories will help your son or daughter transition smoothly to their own pre-K experience.”

〉Practice toilet procedures

Here’s something else they need to be able to do – use the bathroom without help. Practice at home so your child will be comfortable and confident when they get to school.


Arlington ISD’s pre-K program has an innovative, play-based curriculum designed to give your child the foundation to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Pre-K is going to be great, and your child will have lots of fun and learn a ton.

If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time. You can get started online here. Or you can register in person for any elementary school in the district at Kooken Educational Center (423 N. Center St. Arlington, TX 76012). Staff there can answer your questions and help you get registered. Plus, you can tour a model pre-K classroom. Click here for the dates that Kooken is open.

You can also register at Pre-K Palooza on July 16. It’ll be a free, fun-filled event with registration assistance.

And as always, feel free to contact the pre-K team with any questions you have at (682) 867-9418 or