Your child starting school is a pretty big deal. Not only can the realization that they are growing up hit you like a tonne of bricks, but there’s also a fair bit of planning to do to make sure they have everything they need.
Here are 7 ways to prepare for your child starting school.
All schools have different rules, and some may have a uniform they like their students to wear. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to purchase it in advance as, when the start of term approaches, it can be harder to find the correct size and style for your child.
If there is no uniform policy, it’s still worth buying certain clothes specifically for school. Plan ahead, and it will be one less thing to worry about as the big day approaches.
Do some basic teaching
When children start school, it can be a little daunting, especially if they tend to spend most of their time at home playing. To get them used to a typical day at school, it might be worth doing some simple learning with them, such as reading to them or having them recognize numbers and letters.
Once they start their formal education, they will be taught using some of the best school supplies, so you needn’t worry too much. It just might be beneficial to touch base with it – especially if they seem keen and receptive.
Try not to get upset
You may be feeling overwhelmed, but you must try not to get upset in front of them. Showing emotion is a good thing, but if your kids think there is something to be scared or apprehensive about, it could cloud their judgment about school.
Be positive and enthusiastic, and it should make them feel excited and eager to start. Once you have said goodbye on the first day, you can cry all you like on the car ride home!
Do a trial run
If it’s your first or only child and this is very new to you, it might be worth doing a trial run before the official first day. You may be used to having a very chilled-out routine where you get up when you want and aren’t too fussed about a set time for breakfast etc.
When they start school, you will be working to a deadline which can take some getting used to. Spend a few days getting up, dressed, and ready for a specific time. Adopting a more structured morning routine will help your child adjust and know what to expect when the new regime officially kicks in.
If you are a stay-at-home mom, you may struggle initially with the amount of free time you have. That’s why it’s a good idea to make plans and stay busy for the first few weeks at least, or the empty nest feeling could take its toll on you.
Arrange lunch dates with friends, join the gym or try a new hobby – anything to fill the gaps in your time and keep your mind occupied. After a little while, it will become second nature, and you won’t feel so lost without them, so hang in there, and it will get better.
Read books about it
There are loads of books about starting school, so if your child is at all apprehensive, visit your local library or buy a few books online that might help them. As well as being encouraging it will give them a little insight into what to expect and can help build their confidence.
If they would engage better with something a little more visual, you should have no trouble finding appropriate videos or children’s TV programs that will help.
If you know any of the kids who will be in your child’s class, it is worth reaching out to some of the parents and arranging a get-together before school starts. Playdates are a brilliant way for the children to get to know each other a little better and could make a huge difference when they finally get there.
The more children they become acquainted with, the less apprehensive they will be and the less you will worry. When the first day arrives, and it’s time to let them go, you will feel an array of emotions. Just remember that they will be home before you know it and excited to tell you all about their first day adventures.