Starting school is an exciting time for everyone, but with every change comes anxiety… for both you and your little one! Here are some quick tips on how to make the transition for those first few weeks into school a smooth one.
Back-to-school transitions made easy… with helpful teacher tips
Tip No. 1: Dive into friendships
Start by talking about all of the new friends your child has met and is still going to make at his new school as the year progresses. If possible, access a class list or do some networking during drop-off and pick-up to set up play dates with friends, both new and old. Play dates are such a great way for your child to become familiar with the other children in the class to begin fostering these friendships.
Tip No. 2: Pack your calendar
Go to every event you can! If there is a school barbecue or class get together, try to attend. This way your child has the opportunity to acclimatize to the school, teacher, classroom environment and all of their new friends.
Tip No. 3: Use books as a tool
Read books daily about your child’s feelings about school-related activities to stimulate conversation and talk about anything they aren’t sure about. Read your child’s favorites again and again!
Here are few that are tried, true and tested;
A Good Day, K, Henkes
Franklin Goes To School, P. Bourgeois
Friends, E. Carle
Let’s Play, H. Tullet
My Teacher is a Monster, P. Brown
Noni is Nervous, H. Hartt-Sussman
Oddrey and the New Kid, D. Whamond
Read To Your Bunny, R. Wells
Ready for School Murphy? B. Murphy
The Kissing Hand, A. Penn
Tip No. 4: Help your child become autonomous
Routines are key! Check and prepare your child’s backpack daily. Help them identify their cup, coat, extra clothes and belongings by sharing in this packing process. Invite your child to help you select and prepare the items to bring to school. Label all of your belongings with your child’s favorite decal or back to school labels.
Begin supporting your child with dressing themselves. Show them what goes on first, next and last to instill order of the process and foster independence. Practice daily and praise all efforts, this is hard work and a ton to remember! Keep a bin of dress up clothing available for your child to practice these newfound skills.
Establish independent eating routines at home to help your child gain control of utensils, foster independence and feel secure with new skills.
Tip No. 5: Set them up for success
We know the mornings can get crazy and that’s when the anxiety levels rise. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make mornings easier.
Prepare as much as you can the night before. This includes packing lunches, picking out clothes for the next day, putting their shoes out at the front door and packing their backpack to ensure they aren’t running around the house just before it’s time to leave.
In the morning, give yourself lots of time. Plan to leave early because chances are you will leave late! Planning to leave early gives your child time for an unexpected bathroom visit or an extra-long breakfast without feeling pressured. If you truly end up leaving on time, great! This will give your child a few extra minutes to run around before school starts. Arriving on time for school is essential for your child to start the day off on the right foot. When they arrive on time, they enter the class with their peers instead of after them which allows them all to participate in the morning routine together.
Consistency and patience are essential! It is important to communicate all of the new skills that you are working on at home with your child’s classroom teacher so they can continue to foster your child’s development at school.
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