The first day of school is an exciting and emotional time for kids (and parents too!). There will be new teachers, new friends, and new classwork — a lot for little learners to take on.
But whether your child is going into a new grade or starting school for the very first time, rest assured. There are plenty of things you can do to ease the transition.
Do a stellar job at preparing your child for the first day of school, with these 11 tips…
Preparing your child for the first day of school
1. Talk, talk, talk
Kids take their cues from parents, so make sure you talk positively about school. Be enthusiastic even if you’re harboring a few first-day fears of your own.
Talk about all the exciting things they will do at school, the friends they’ll play with, and the things they’ll learn. But, at the same time, let them know it’s okay to feel nervous on the first day.
Encourage kids to ask questions about school, too. The more you understand about how they’re feeling, the better you can reassure them.
2. Read school-based storybooks
Storybooks can really help kids through big life transitions.
Reading stories about school-aged kids, your little one can take inspiration from characters experiencing the same things they are. Hearing classroom scenes spoken aloud will help them grow familiar with the school setting and structures, too.
3. Take advantage of orientation sessions
The more familiar school feels for your child, the easier their first day will be. If the school has organized an orientation session or gives your child the chance to meet their teacher, be sure to attend.
If you can’t tour the school or meet teachers before school starts, try doing your own taster session. You could do a trial walk or bus ride to school, and/or take a look at the school’s website and social media pages, sitting side by side.
4. Go over school routines
Kids love routine; it calms the nerves and helps them become more self-directed.
What will happen when they get to school? Where will they eat lunch? What will happen when you collect them at the end of the day?
Also, try to familiarize your little one with school-related vocabulary they might not have heard before — words like “recess” and “quiz” — and run through the kind of behavior that teachers will expect from them.
5. Practice independent activity
There won’t always be a teacher on hand to help your kid with day-to-day tasks — so practice them at home. The ability to dress and undress themselves, use cutlery properly, wash their hands, and go to the toilet unaided are all things that will help your child feel more independent at school.
6. Make sure they can recognize their name
Your child may have to find a peg or drawer with their name on it in class, so make sure they know what their name and surname look like (just in case there’s another kid with the same name). Get them to practice writing their name too, so they’ll be able to label their schoolwork when asked.
7. Teach the foundations of math and English
Children start school with a wide range of ability levels — but with a little summer homework, you can make sure yours is in front of the pack.
Preparing your child for the first day back at school
Heading into a new grade? Adjusting back to the school routine after the summer break can be a big deal for kids.
Revisit point #1 on this list — as the summer vacation draws to a close, talk enthusiastically with your kids about the return to school.
Beyond that, the following tips will help them get back into the academic mindset.
8. Arrange summer playdates
Maintaining some school relationships during the summer break can make preparing your child for the first day of school much easier. If possible, arrange playdates during the vacation so your kids can socialize with friends from school.
9. Re-establish good routines
Depending on what you’ve been doing as a family over the summer, bedtimes might have been extended and morning routines have probably been relaxed.
Get back into the swing of things by implementing the morning and evening routines you expect during the school semester.
This ensures kids are getting plenty of sleep and makes it more likely that they’ll make it out of bed in time to catch the school bus!
10. Pick out clothes and a backpack
Wearing their favorite clothes and carrying a new backpack makes some kids feel more excited about their first day back at school.
Let them pick out what they want to wear, or make an adventure of shopping for something new — which also makes for a good opportunity to pick up essential school supplies!
11. Check that any assignments have been completed
Was your child supposed to complete any schoolwork over the summer? And has it sat scrunched in their school backpack until just now? Eek!
Take a deep breath — leaving summer homework till the last week or two of the break can actually be a good idea. Kids get to revisit their studies from the previous school year and warm their brains up for another round.
Have a great first day at school!
Now for a few tips for the parents of school starters.
Go easy on yourself. If you’re used to having your little one at home, their first day away is likely to be a rollercoaster of emotions for you as well.
Remember that kids are very adaptable. Didn’t get a chance to visit the school? Is your little one still hazy on the letters of their name? They’ll still get through that first day and be super excited to see you waiting for them at the end of it.
Good luck with that first day of school! And don’t forget that you can support your child’s learning throughout the rest of the school year with worksheets from KidsKonnect.
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Link will appear as How To Prepare Your Child for School – 11 Practical Tips For Parents: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 3, 2020