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7 ways to make the first day of kindergarten a little easier

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Don't cry. Your child is getting a free public education.

Feeling a bit blue because your big boy or girl is headed to the first day of kindergarten? Don’t cry! It’s gonna be okay.

Making the move into kindergarten doesn’t have to be traumatic. But if you’re already reaching for the Kleenex just thinking about it, here are some tips from a woman who knows: Harpeth Valley Elementary principal (and mother of three) Kimber Halliburton.

  • Keep it positive! Talk to your child highlighting your most positive experiences and favorite teacher in elementary school. Avoid sharing any negative experiences or thoughts.
  • If you can, visit the school prior to the first day. If your time does not permit a visit, driving by the school and mention how excited you. Young children love the idea of going to “Big Girl” or “Big Boy” school! Tell your child how proud you are of him/her!
  • Take your child to school on the first day to meet the teacher.
  • Reassure him (or her), you will be leaving him with his new teacher and he will be returning home after school.
  • If work allows, pick your student up from school on the first day. The first day of school (Aug. 5) for all PreK-12 MNPS students is a half-day. If you work outside of the home, make arrangements with your work ahead of time if you can.
  • Be sure your child knows how he will be getting home each day.
  • If your school offers an open house or orientation, go to it. There’s no better way to meet teachers, parents and principals outside of the hectic first morning of school.

Some schools even have special “coffee and crying” or “donuts and Kleenex” receptions for parents on the first day of school. If your school is planning one, take advantage of it. They are a lot of fun and you get to meet other new parents!

More than anything else, you should be proud of your big boy or girl starting this amazing educational journey. Cherish these memories forever.

…And then share them with us! We want to see your pictures from the first day of school. Email your pictures to or send them to us on Facebook. We’ll be collecting them for a story like this one from last year.