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Starting First Grade
Little Things Make A Big Difference

First grade is an important year for most children for many reasons. It is a big change from half-day kindergarten to all-day first grade. For some it may be scary riding the school bus home with the older children. Not to mention the extended hours away from Mommy or Daddy.

One way to help make this September go a little smoother is to buy supplies ahead of time if at all possible. Here is a checklist of a few common things that first graders use:

  • 2 erasers (plain)

  • 1 package dry erase markers (low odor)

  • 12 large glue sticks

  • plain pencils (40 sharpened)

  • 1 plastic folder with pockets

  • 1 package large Crayola water colored markers (8 in a box)

  • 1 box of tissues

  • school box (plastic, not to exceed 3" in height)

  • 2 boxes crayons (24 or less)

  • 1 composition notebook

  • Child-friendly scissors (they also have left handed scissors)

Letting your first grader pick out the book bag for school might help bring some excitement to the beginning of school. Also, buy a few extra supplies and play school. Pretend to be the teacher of his or her first grade class. This may help remove some of the fear of what to expect.

When school does begin, let your child wear a special locket with a picture of someone special in it. It is comforting to know you have someone you love close to you. Lunch time in the seemingly enormous cafeteria is always daunting at first. If your child will bring lunch to school put a red paper heart in it.

Read "A Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn and then do the same with your child. In this story, the Mommy plants a kiss on her child's hand so that whenever the child feels lonely or afraid there is a kiss from Mommy to make it all better.

Little things can make a big difference in how children will adjust to change. First grade is the beginning of many important changes in your little one's life. Taking the time to ensure an easy transition for all involved is a wise investment.

About the Author
Katrina Cramer-Diaz is a working mom with a background in education and plenty of experience in parenting. She lives in Virginia with her four children.

More about starting school on the Web:

First Grade : Ready or Not?

First Grade Spelling Words


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