What a Difference a Year Makes :: From Kindergarten to First Grade


Last year I wrote a post about my daughter’s anxiety when starting kindergarten. Well, let me tell you about her first day of first grade, and what a difference a year makes.

Leading up to the start of first grade, we talked a LOT about how it would go and what would be different this year. There would be a new classroom, new teacher, new friends, new pickup plan … but we assured our daughter it’s the same school building and familiar faces.

She asked lots of questions for a few weeks. She really wanted to know if we would be able to walk her into her classroom on that first day. I asked the school and the answer was no to parents walking kids in unless they were in kindergarten. We explained to her that it was against the rules, but we’d have a meet the teacher night to find the classroom together beforehand.

At the meet the teacher night, we found her classroom together and walked the path from carline to drop-off at her room multiple times. We chatted with her teacher and did some crafts in her room to let her get comfortable with the new setting. After that, she showed us around her school with so much confidence I knew she’d do great on the first day.

The first day of first grade came and there were some nerves and questions again. Her dad and I both walked her to the front door and she went in slightly nervous, but looked back at us with a big smile and waved goodbye. It was then I knew she had overcome a lot and gained so much confidence since she started kindergarten. 

Despite her nerves, my girl walked with confidence into her school and found her new class with no issues. She got on her new bus to go to her afterschool care, and when I came to pick her up she was nothing but happy and confident that she conquered her first day. She did tell me I picked her up from afterschool care too early and she wanted more play time, but other than that it was a great day. I asked her how it went and she declared that it was fine and she knows where she’s going. Okay, girl, you got this!

I couldn’t help but think about those first few weeks of kindergarten. When her poor little body was shaking because she was nervous about finding her room. When she declared she didn’t want to go anymore because it was a bit scary and too new. I realized a year in school gave her confidence and independence she didn’t have last year. I realized I have a big first grader who can do anything she wants in life. 

How was your child’s first day of school? Did you see a big difference in transitioning from kindergarten to first grade?

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Lisa is a transplant from the Midwest. She was born and raised in Kansas (yes, she has seen a tornado) and spent a few years in Ohio before moving to South Carolina in 2014. She holds a degree in Biology and works as a research assistant at the USC School of Medicine. Her career in science spans 11 years and she can't imagine a job anywhere else. She has also been married to her college sweetheart for 11 years. He is a professor at USC, so they are Gamecock fans by default. They are proud parents to a spunky 2.5 year old girl who keeps them on their toes. As a family, they enjoy being outside in the wonderful southern sun, gardening, playing tennis, and going to the beach. They also are parents to 2 fur babies who still aren't sure about their little sister.


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