Going Back to SchoolSeptember 6, 2018
Whether your child is starting school for the first time, starting at a new school or just having first day fears, preparing for the first few days can make the transition to the classroom easier for everyone.
Visit. Seeing their new school (even just the outside of it), practicing the morning walk and getting a hang of the routine can help children to adjust to new surroundings. If the school allows, you may even be able to go inside to visit the classroom and meet the teacher.
Act it out. Pretend play helps children to work through challenges and practice transitions. Have your child practice saying goodbye, hanging up their coat, sitting at circle time, eating lunch and being reunited at the end of the day. Let your child work through the parts of the routine that seem most difficult and remind them that each day ends back at home with those who love them.
Read books. Reading books about what to expect in a new school or for a new school year can help children to express themselves through the characters on the page. These characters are often animals which makes it helpful for your child to consider the experiences in a non personalized, non threatening way. Ask questions about what the characters may be thinking or feeling to facilitate a discussion with your child.
Pick something special. Having a comforting item from home (like a picture of your family) or a special new item (like a backpack) can make the transition to school exciting! Let your child have a choice in what he or she brings whenever possible. For young children, the power of make believe is strong and you can even give them an invisible kiss or an invisible gift for them to hold on to throughout the day.
Be positive. Make sure your own nerves about your child’s school experience are in check and that you model how excited and happy you are for your child’s new adventure. Avoid long or drawn out goodbyes and use your own support system to handle the stress of separation!
For more tips on the back to school transition, click here.
Content created in partnership with Seedlings Group.