It’s a big change for the whole family when your child starts school.
There are ways to make the transition to school easier for everyone, so let’s take a look at what might help lessen the stress and make this big event exciting.
It’s a time full of so many emotions. Sending a child off to school can be overwhelming for both you and your little school starter, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a negative experience. There are lots of ways to make the transition to school easier — preparation before the first day of school will help your family adjust to this big new adventure with ease.
Routine is helpful for the entire family
When children are younger there’s often little need for them to have a strict bed time, which may mean that their night routine is varied and unpredictable. One of the key things you can do as a family before the school year starts is to introduce a night time routine that ensures your children are in bed early and are refreshed and ready to get up for a full day ahead.
While it may not always be possible to be exact, setting into place an earlier bath time, dinner time, quiet time for reading a book before bed and having a chat about the day and the excitement of the day ahead is a great plan.
Encourage some key skills early
Things such as recognising their name, recognising numbers, knowing how to do basic counting, having correct pencil grip and being able to use scissors will make the transition to school easier for your child. If they have attended preschool these skills are often encouraged, but it is also useful to encourage this behaviour at home, too.
Socialising with peers
Encouraging socialisation is great preparation as it is also a key skill that needs to be learned. Attending a day a week or more of preschool the year before starting school full-time can be a great benefit to kids when learning how to adapt. Also look for activities that allow them to interact with peers. Sports such as little athletics and soccer allow children under five to participate.
Include your child in the preparation
While starting school can be nerve-wracking, by encouraging your child to take part in preparing for the new school year, it helps encourage a positive attitude and excitement. Take your child shopping for their school supplies, uniform, shoes, stationery and any other goodies they may need. Letting them have some flexibility and choice in their school gear will help them mentally prepare for the experience.
Communication is key
While you may not see the signs of nervousness in your child, chances are, under their excitement they may be nervous or even confused about starting school. Talking together about what school will be like, the things they might learn, the new friends they might meet and what they can expect will help your child mentally prepare for what’s ahead. Together you can both support each other through this new adventure.