The year your child heads into kindergarten is a huge milestone.  Even if they’ve been in daycare or preschool for years, there’s just something about seeing your child standing there on their first day of school, almost tipping over from the weight of a backpack crammed full of school supplies, that tugs at a mother’s heartstrings.  You want your child to have the best possible start in their education, so you want to be sure that they’re starting kindergarten with everything they need to know.

Starting kindergarten here in DC is a major milestone, and it’s a step that causes anxiety not just in students, but in parents too. Although the first day of kindergarten is still a long ways off, parents can take some steps over the next several months so when the big day arrives, everybody is excited and ready.

1.    Be positive. Even if you’re worried or anxious, try not to convey that to your child. Put on a happy face, and talk about how wonderful school is as often as you can.

At one time, there wasn’t much choice when it came to schools. Parents had one option for a public school, and they had to accept it or pay for a private education. Today, there are many more options for parents within the public school system, and in particular, Washington DC offers charter schools that parents can look into to see if they are a good fit for their students.

A child’s teacher spends countless hours both in and out of the classroom preparing, instructing, caring for, and worrying about his or her students. With teacher appreciation week already upon us, many parents are finding ways to show their appreciation for these educators who guide, protect, encourage, and facilitate learning all through the year. While elementary school teachers love any form of appreciation, it doesn’t require a lot of money or time on your part to show them how you feel. Here are five ideas that any teacher would love to receive.

According to an article on education.com, the success rate of a student’s achievements in school is directly influenced by the parents’ involvement in that student’s home and academic life. When parents are actively involved, students receive better grades, have higher self-esteem, and are less likely to drop out of school. Parents also benefit from this involvement by gaining both an increased awareness of their child’s school environment and confidence in their abilities to parent.

Many parents experience anxiety when thinking about sending their child to school for the first time. Whether the student is in preschool or kindergarten, letting go poses a challenge for both the child and parent. Deciding on which school to choose represents another point of decision, and it’s one that shouldn’t be made lightly. If you’re in Washington DC or in the surrounding region , you have a great opportunity to enroll your child in a Montessori school that can provide a great start to your child’s education.

Montessori schools have grown more and more popular over the last few years, and for good reason: their emphasis on not only teaching children, but on teaching children to love learning has helped many students develop their lifelong learning styles–whether through academic interests, or through pursuing the arts. The arts (music and art, in particular) are almost a second language. Many low-income children don’t have these opportunities in their schools. When funding is cut, it comes straight out of the art and music budget first–because after all, those things are supplemental to a child’s “real” education, aren’t they?