As mothers of young children, we have both experienced the ups and downs of the first days of school.
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From nervousness (for both mum and child) and excitement, to adjustments to a new routine and making new friends, the new school year can be a trying time, especially for parents of first-time school students.
As a parent, there are easy steps that you can take to prepare both your child and yourself for this exciting time.
Here are our top 5 tips:
1) First and foremost, take advantage of the school’s orientation process.
Take any opportunity the school offers to ease your child into this new experience.
Many schools will allow your new student to attend a few classes and ask questions about what school as a kindy student will be like, which will help your little one adjust to the new routine and social aspects of kindy life.
2) Attend information nights at your child’s school.
Information nights can provide insights and simple tips that you might not have thought of – from making sure your child can open food packets on their own, to ensuring they can lock and unlock a toilet cubicle without assistance. Take in all the information, even if you feel it’s not relevant for your child and take the opportunity to ask questions, no matter how silly you might think they are.
3) Connect with other parents to help socialise your child.
One of the most heart wrenching and unexpected experiences a child, and subsequently a parent, can face at the start of the school year is how they fit in socially.
Not all kids will integrate immediately into the friend groups in their class, so it’s important that as a parent you’re involved and do everything you can to help foster these relationships.
You may be lucky enough to have the help of fellow parents who can help organise play dates and meet ups amongst the other children. Observe who your child plays with at orientation – and seek out that child’s parents for play dates over the Summer break.
4) Introduce yourself.
Take the time to introduce yourself to teachers and other parents. You already have something in common – your kids – so the conversation should flow quite easily.
You often meet parents who have older kids and have been through the kindergarten experience before. These parents will be able to help answer your questions and offer advice based on their own experiences with older children.
Connecting with the teachers will also help you to stay informed about what’s going on in the classroom.
5) Make the time leading up to the first day exciting and fun!
Get your child excited about their first day by doing little things in the lead up to the start of the year.
A simple countdown on the family calendar to the first day of term one allows your child to visualise how close the day becomes as you tick the boxes one by one.
Also, make a special event out of buying the uniform and other school items with your child so that they look forward to getting decked out for the big day.
All in all, the orientation process leading up to your child’s first day is what you make of it and as a parent. It’s up to you to make the most out of the start of your child’s schooling for both yourself and your child.
Do you have any tips to add to this list? What has worked for you or other friends? Please share in the comments below.