Getting Ready For School
Pencils, paper, lunches and backpacks.
That can only mean one thing, back to school time is almost here.
While it can be a little daunting for some, heading to school can be both a fun and rewarding experience for parents and kids.
But don't worry if you're feeling a little overwhelmed preparing for the big day.
Try to remember that although it might seem scary, it's also an exciting time.
You just have to look at starting school as a process that starts before the first day and continues on into the school year.
It just takes a bit of awareness and preparation to be school-ready. Kids who start off in a positive way show signs of being more relaxed, are better learners, have stronger relationships, and generally feel like they belong.
If you're a first timer or an old-timer, here's a few hints and tips that will help you and your little ones get ready for the classroom in no time.
1. Plan ahead: It is important when preparing kids for the first day of school to plan ahead. Children take their cue from their parents. If parents are calm, reassuring, optimistic and supportive, children will feel both confident and competent.
2. Talk openly about school and tell them stories about your most enjoyable moments at school, make it fun and not scary.
3. Talk to your child in advance and tell them where they will be going and what they will be doing.
4. If you have time before the school year kicks off take your child to visit the school. Show your child where they will be going and where the important places are in the school like classrooms, toilets, office etc.
5. If possible, find out if there are any friends, relatives or neighbours in their class. Knowing a child and creating a buddy system makes the transition to move more smoothly.
6. Answer any questions they may have openly and honestly reassuring them that everything is okay and they can come to you anytime.
7. Talk about friends; about saying good bye to old friends and making new friends (this could be important if you have a child transitioning from kindy to primary school or from primary school to high school).
8. Explain that just like at home there will be rules to follow - like getting to school on time, eating times and rules in the classroom.
9. If you feel the need, have a practice run in the lead up to the first day of school. Start by preparing the night before with lunches, uniforms, setting alarms, etc.
10. First time mums, this could be an emotional experience for both you and your little one. So remember if you feel like you will cry, save it for after you have dropped your child off at school so they don’t pick up on the emotional roller coaster. And when you pick them up ask how their day was and what they did.
11. As with every aspect of our children’s lives routine can play a big role. Try to maintain a routine for out of school hours. For example make sure any homework is done, lunches packed and uniforms laid out in preparation for each day.
But above all else, take in every aspect of the experience, good or bad, it might help create some good stories for years to come.