Have you reached the stage where it’s time to start thinking about sending your child to school? This is a significant milestone for your child as well as you as a parent. For the first time, your child is going to be out of the house for the majority of the day, providing you with more freedom than you might have had in years. However, before it’s time to leave your little one at the gates or watch them catch the bus, you need to prepare them for this change. Here are some of the key points that you may want to consider.
Get Them Used To The Routine
Children thrive on routine, you should ideally have had a routine for them since they were babies. As babies and young children are unable to tell the time, a routine helps them predict what is happening and where in the day they are. When children attend school they will need to have a routine of getting up at the same time each day. If your child attends preschool for a morning session then this is the perfect opportunity to start a routine. If you get them up at the same time each morning, give them their breakfast, and then get them ready then they will be well prepared for starting big school.
Another point to consider is the school uniform. If the school your child is going to be attending has a school uniform, then it’s important to ensure that your child knows what to expect here. You should help them try on their school uniform a couple of weeks before they start school to ensure that it fits and that they find it comfortable.
Do note that it’s not uncommon for kids to have sensory issues with certain aspects of their uniform. They may not like the way the material feels. Some young children also have a phobia of buttons. As such, you may need to address these issues and find a suitable alternative item of clothing.
If the school doesn’t have a uniform, then you need to find clothes that your child is going to be comfortable wearing. Helping them find the right clothes to wear can be a great way to ensure that they feel ready and relaxed before a school day.
It’s great if you can go through all the toilet training with your child before they hit preschool. Some children do struggle with certain elements so it’s important to remain calm and patient. There’s lots of different mindsets when it comes to toilet training. Some people suggest that you skip the potty altogether and go straight to the toilet. This does make a little sense as children getting used to the potty can confuse them.
You also need to ensure that your kids are completely versed in hygiene requirements before school. It’s all too easy and incredibly common for bacteria and viruses to spread around school. Usually, this is because children aren’t washing their hands. A little regular guidance will ensure that your child doesn’t make this mistake at all and always washes their hands the right way.
Help Them Feel Relaxed
It’s important to help them feel relaxed about school. Part of this can be about ensuring that they know what to expect. Some children are going to be nervous about the work they’ll need to do when they get to school. Obviously, preschool is designed to ease kids into working but they don’t know this. That’s why it might be useful to explore some preschool worksheets and other resources. That way, you can show them the type of work that they’ll be expected to complete. This should help them feel more at ease.
Another big point is that they may be worried they won’t know anyone. Let them know that everyone will be in the same boat and most children will be meeting one another for the first time. Teach them that all they need to be is themselves and people will like them for who they are. If you can, you might also want to set up some playdates with the other children that they will be going to school with. This means that they’ll have at least a few friendly faces to greet them when they attend school for the first time.
Communication Is Always Key
Finally, it’s important to ensure that you are communicating with your child. You need to make sure that you know whether anything is worrying them about going to school. For instance, they might be worried about being apart from you for so long. It’s quite common for children who have spent all their time with their mother or father to develop an issue with attachment. School can break this issue but only if it is handled the correct way. If your child does mention that they are worried about being apart from you, then you need to provide reassurance.
Make sure that they know you’ll be there to pick them up at a specific set time each and every day. Let them know if there’s an emergency, you’ll only ever be a phone call away. Although, don’t get them used to the idea of calling you whenever a little thing changes or bothers them. It’s important that they start to develop their independence.
Once they start school get them to score different parts of their day. That way, you can quickly identify any problem areas.
We hope this helps you understand some of the key points that you should consider and think about when you are preparing your child for their first few days at school. If you tick off all the boxes here, you can avoid a situation where they might feel unprepared or daunted by the idea of school. Don’t forget, this is going to be a significant change in your life too. As a parent, you need to get used to your child growing up. This, in many ways, is one of the greatest challenges that you will face here.