Kindergarten is a great equalizer in overcoming shyness. For the most part, all of the children are new to the school and don’t know each other. Some 5 year olds will be the first to volunteer for anything while others are just as likely to hold back and sit quietly by themselves.
How can you help your shy child succeed in kindergarten? If possible, visit as many different types of schools in your area. Find a school where your child feels most comfortable. Talk to the teachers or principal and be honest. Tell them your concerns about your child’s reticence and ask how they can help alleviate his/her nervousness about attending school.
After you have chosen a school, take a tour with your child so that they can become more familiar with their new surroundings. If possible, visit the kindergarten classroom and talk to the teachers. Practice the school routines during the summer. Know where to line up, what types of equipment are available for use and the route to the classroom. These things can help your child overcome some of their anxiety.
In a Montessori school you can find mixed age groups in one classroom. Older children help guide younger children. As a kindergartner, you daughter might draw wisdom from first graders while also sharing their knowledge with preschoolers. Both interactions have their benefits. Learning from another child can be less intimidating for a shy child. Having the opportunity to share with a younger child the things she has learned can be an empowering confidence builder.
At a school like Day Star Montessori in Milpitas, CA they take the time to get to really know your child, help relieve their anxieties and determine the level of guidance they need in this new situation. Set up a tour and see for yourself.