The beginning of the new school year is approaching soon. During this time, parents start to imagine all of the things that accompany loading their little ones onto a school bus and sending them off to their first day of school. While the thought of this day may be exciting, it can also be difficult for both kids and parents as they face this new transition to an unfamiliar environment and routine. So how can you help your little one get ready for the adjustment to school? What things can you do to get your child geared up for this exciting new journey?
School can be a big adjustment for children, especially for those attending for the first time. There may be a mixture of excitement and anxiety, and many first days even start with tears. As parents, we can offer some support and guidance to our kids to make this transition smoother. Here are a few tips that may help.
Prepare your child mentally and emotionally
In order to help prevent your child from becoming overwhelmed by the thought of attending school, it’s a good idea to start talking about what school will be like. You can prepare your little one both emotionally and mentally by discussing the things your little one should expect and the school’s rules and expectations. Explain why your child will be expected to follow directions, work together with peers, and so on.
Also, don’t forget to talk about the fun parts of school! As you discuss the changes that come with starting school, be sure to also highlight the types of things that make school exciting. For example, tell children about all of the opportunities they will have to play with their classmates, participate in fun learning games and activities, play in the playground, and more!
Visit the preschool ahead of time
Your child’s new school will become their new home for a long time, so it’s a good idea to get a feel for the new environment as soon as you can. Find out if you can arrange to visit the preschool together so your little one can see what school looks like. Meet the teachers, take a tour of the classrooms, and see if you can explore the surroundings. Also, find out if your child can have an opportunity to play and run around the playground, too!
You don’t have to wait until children begin school before you teach them about self-sufficiency and independence. You can encourage them by giving them some freedom and space to explore the world around them and give guidance when necessary. Let your child attempt to complete tasks alone, like putting away toys or setting the table for dinner. Also, teach children how to do the things they’ll need to do by themselves once school starts, like getting dressed, putting on shoes, brushing their teeth, and opening their lunch boxes. The more your child is able to practice performing daily tasks independently, the more comfortable and confident they will feel when school starts. The earlier you begin this process, the easier it’ll become.
More importantly, kids need to be reminded that being independent does not always mean doing things all by themselves and accepting help from others when needed. There will be times when a task needs extra hands and that it’s okay to ask for help.
Create a routine
Following a daily routine is another important aspect of school readiness. Once your child is familiar with the routine and understands what to expect each day, transitioning to school will become easier.
Start by creating a simple routine for your little one at home. This should include a morning routine and an evening routine. For example, make sure your child sticks to a consistent bedtime every night. There should be a schedule for daily activities and meals throughout the day. This will help ensure that the structured routine at school doesn’t overwhelm or surprise your little one.
Developing social skills is an important aspect of childhood. It’s vital that young kids are equipped with these skills in order to help them succeed in school and in life. Give your little one ample opportunities to socialize. Set up playdates so children can interact with peers. Transitioning to school is easier and more fun when kids learn how to get along with peers and establish friendships!
Adjusting to school isn’t always an easy process, but with your guidance and support, you can help your little one embrace the start of this new journey with positivity, excitement, and openness to new learning, knowledge, and experiences.
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