Starting school for the first time is a huge milestone for parents and children alike, especially when they are very young. So, what can you do to prepare your child, and limit the flow of tears, rush of emotions and bags of fears on that first big day? Here is a guide.
Get your child familiar with the general idea of school
There are engaging ways to create positive impressions of what school is all about. They will help your child raise any questions like ‘how will I find the loo,’ ‘who will feed me during lunch?’ and other concerns about nap time and making friends. After you have painted the school scenario for your child, ask the older siblings to chat them up about the fun part of school, at least they have more recent experiences about pre-school than you do.
Take your child to the school before and on the big day
As part of making the child accept the idea of school, take your to the school during the inquiry and registration processes. Tell your child why you are there and ask if he/she likes the school environment. Before the child starts officially, take the child past the school premises occasionally and point out some appealing features like the school’s playground, the big field where they can play football or the assembly ground. Make your child feel excited while they look forward to resumption.
Get acquainted to a parent of your child’s future classmate
If you know any parent whose child will be in your child’s class, meet up with them and let the kids bond before time. This will help your child ease off on the first day of school because he/she will be seeing a familiar face – the new classmate buddy.
Teach your child the basics
Learning begins at home, and your child should be able to exhibit some level of maturity even at a tender age. You can teach your child how to speak up when in need, how to pronounce and identify some items like food, water, how to sit quiet/listen and also how to repeat words after you and the teacher.
Conceal your own fears and worries
Some parents who send their kids to primary school after keeping them at home for a while sometimes have worries about their child’s intelligence as compared to the other kids in the class. If your child can’t tell an A from a Z or write their name at the age of 6, it shouldn’t bother you.
Kindergarten teachers don’t expect their wards to know letters and numbers after all, that’s what school is for. What they’re far more bothered about are practical ‘self-care’ skills. They will thank you if your child can go to the loo independently or signal that they want to, eat independently or allow the teacher feed them, and not cry all through the school hours.
You are almost good to go! If you are a working class individual you need to make plans for school runs and after school hours care. Child-minders are particularly good for toddler’s after school care. You can ask the school administrator if they offer or know any good hands who can pick up from there.