With only a few days to go until the start of a new school term, many of us will be introducing a child to their very first day in primary school. This can be a daunting time for both children and parents, but a little preparation can help to make the transition as smooth as possible.
By now many of us will have already had the brief introduction to the school, with your little boy or girl having visited his or her classroom and met their teacher. This was a good opportunity to let your child experience what it will be like in their classroom, and for those that have attended pre-school or montessori, they will have noticed that there really isn’t much difference at first.
It’s not too late to start a ROUTINE. For the next few days introduce a set bedtime for your little one and aim to wake up at the time they will be waking up for school. Try to eat breakfast, snacks and lunch at around the same time as your child will once school starts.
Talk to your child about what the can expect from their first day. Reassure them and be positive when discussing what might happen. Let them know how exciting it will be and that they will make new friends and learn lots of new things.
Let your child do things for herself. For example, in the mornings, leave out their cereal bowl and spoon somewhere they can reach and encourage them to pour their cereal themselves. Children love independence so show them how to do certain things themselves and be encouraging. This can instil confidence in a child and help them once they start school.
giving them any unusual food or drink in their lunchbox. They only have a few minutes to eat and drink each day and they don’t want to spend most of that trying to open a drink or a piece of food in unusual wrapping. Also, give them food they are familiar with and like, particularly for the first few days so they will actually eat it and not go hungry!
to at least one new parent. You’re going to be in the same boat and will have a lot in common over the next few years so it will be nice to have someone to talk about it with.
Make sure you
everything. Books and Clothes can easily go missing or be hard to find when your child goes looking for it. I even found myself labeling individual twistable crayons this week as the class were told to have them.
to your child that you will be back to collect them after school and make sure you are there on time.
are completely normal but try your best to wait until you have dropped them off before you start!
If time allows, try to REHEARSE the school run. Do the walk/drive/bus with your little one to show them exactly what will be happening on their first day and going forward.
A child can pick up on their parents anxiety and in turn could make them anxious also. Try to stay as calm as possible. A good way of doing this is to have everything organised the night before to ensure that there is no rushing about in the morning.
ask them all about their day and about the fun they had. Chances are they’ll be tired so let them rest if you can. A good idea is not to ask them ‘how was school?’ because chances are, like I used to do, they’ll say ‘boring’! Instead, try to ask them about specific activities such as ‘Did you do any writing today?’.
Above all, ENJOY the experience and try to ensure your child enjoys it too.