Starting school is an important milestone for you and your child. For most children this marks their first step away from home or a transition to new settings and friends whereas to most parents it’s their first time to let their children out their care.
You’ll agree that even returning to familiar environments has its share of pleasures, excitements, and anxieties. When your child is at the younger stages of development, change can have far-reaching effects on their thoughts and feelings. Some kids enjoy and accept change more than others. But even the most experienced child will require some extra care during his/her first days in school.
I talked to a teacher on how to prepare your child for the first day in school. Here is what she said:
#1. Teach them the Art of Communication
It is essential for your child to have basic communication skills when starting school. Typically, before taking your child to school, you should teach them to sit and listen for a given period of time. Your child should be able to listen and understand simple instructions and also be able to put two or three sentences together in the case they need to ask something.
#2. Visit the School
Before taking your child to school for the first time, it is imperative to visit the school with your child so that you can tour the classroom that your child will be spending most of his time in. Some school administrations conduct a special event for this purpose, but you can still call the school to plan a date to drop by.
This will help reduce the anxiety and make you and your child more familiar with the school environment.
#3. Practice the School Routine Before the Actual Day
Usually, children go to sleep later in the night while sleeping longer in the morning. Starting school can make your child tired due to lack of enough sleep which can impact your child’s feelings, learning, and growth.
You can help your child adjust by moving bedtime early and stick to the routine. Avoid scheduling many activities during the few days to school to prevent your child from being overwhelmed.
#4. Teach Your Child On What to Expect in School
Before taking your child to school, talk to him about what to expect in school and in the classroom. Guide them concerning the school and class routine, friends, activities and the teacher. Practice going to the classroom and greeting teachers and friends. This will help him adapt easily to the school environment.
#5. Teach Your Child to Dress
Teaching your child how to get undressed and dressed prior to starting school is an important lesson. This will ensure that your child will not have tough times when they are engaging in physical education (PE), as they’ll have to change clothes during this activity.
#6. Help Your Child Make Friends
Kids going to school for the first time are worried about the kind of people they will meet in school. They are concerned whether they are going to make friends. You can help your child make friends by uncovering if there are classmates in your neighbourhood. If there are familiar friends in the neighbourhood that they will be schooling together it will be good. If that’s not the case, it is important that you educate your child on what to expect – the fun of meeting new friends and engaging in new activities.
#7. Pick a Suitable Schedule for Your Child
Schools have varied kindergarten schedules across the country. Some children will attend half days, some full days and others will alternate between full and half days. Depending on your school, you can choose a schedule that will suit your child.
#8. Ensure the First Day is Special
It is good to make your child’s first day in school special and memorable. Some parents will sweeten the deal by taking their children on a shopping trip where others let their children have a meal to celebrate their first day in school.
Finally, when the school day arrives, set out your child’s clothes the night before, make sure that your child is in bed at the right hour, decide on the breakfast menu and set your alarm. This will ensure you have enough time to prepare in the morning and uninterrupted breakfast.