23 Aug Five Tips For Starting School
The first day of school is almost upon us again. Around the world parents are preparing for the monumental milestone of sending their children off to kindergarten for the first time. Or maybe your slightly older kids are starting off at a new school. Whatever your circumstances, here are 5 tips to help prepare your kindergartener for their first day of their formal education.
1 – Create your new schedule ahead of time
Weeks ahead of the big day, start getting into the new routine. This will help the night before school become a lot easier. Establish a regular bedtime and routine. During the school year kids need as much rest as possible to set them up for learning. Young children should be getting at least 12 hours of sleep on a school night. The NHS in the UK recommends 10- 13 hours for kids aged 3 to 5. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-much-sleep-do-kids-need/
If you are an early riser, think about getting their school bags, clothing and other items they need ready the night before. Encourage your child to help you do it, or to do this for themselves. It’s a good idea to have your child wear new school shoes for a few days before school starts and practise doing up laces, buckles or anything else that might cause them to stress.
2 – Visit the school before the big day!
If you haven’t already, try and visit the school and allow your child to look around it as much as possible. If it’s possible to meet the child’s teacher or carers even better. Let your child know that they are there to help them if they need help. If it’s possible to arrange a meet up with other kids who are starting the school this can really help too. Share a visit to a park or playground with other children. It can really help if your child recognises some faces on their very first day.
3 – Read a book about starting school together
There are lots of books on the market about starting school. Reading books together give you an opportunity to discuss any feelings you or your child may be having. It also gives them a chance to ask questions.
Here are 3 of our favorites:
Harry and the Dinosaurs Go to School by Ian Whybrow & Adrian Reynolds
Charlie and Lola: I Am Too Absolutely Small For School by Lauren Child
The Night Before Preschool by Natasha Wing
4 – Be on time!
Try to drop off your child in plenty of time in the morning and pick them up on time. Being fashionably late makes kids anxious. Easier said than done sometimes but try to make a special effort to do this, especially in the first week. If it’s possible to cycle or walk to school then try that too. Make sure you consider how long it takes little feet to walk from your home to the school gates also. Aside from having smaller legs, children also get distracted easily on walks. And so they should, there so much to see and discover!
5 – Keep bye-byes short.
You might be emotional. They might be emotional. Or you both could be very matter-of-fact and blase about it. Whatever way the first drop off goes, say goodbye and make as quick an exit as you can. If you linger your child may feel that they cannot get on with their big new day until you are gone. But always make sure they know you are leaving. Don’t sneak away. DO say goodbye, even if they are crying. Chances are your child will be fine a few minutes later and will be happily making friends and adjusting to their new surroundings.
And finally remember school will open up a new world of possibility and friendships for your child. Good luck on your first day of school.