Waving goodbye to your child as they start their schooling journey can be hard for parents and kids alike. Here are some tips to make the transition into school smoother for everyone. Let’s get reception ready!
To prepare children for school you could:
- involve your child in preparing for school, eg shopping for their uniform, school bag and lunch box
- plan for healthy lunches, snacks and water to drink
- help your child learn to dress themselves, and to use the toilet on their own
- establish the bedtime and morning routine that they will have when they start school. It is very important that they get enough sleep
- practise the route you will take when you walk, drive or ride to school
- plan to take your child to school on the first day. Show them where you will pick them up at the end of the day and make sure you are always on time. A few minutes can seem like a long time to a young child.
If your child is worried before the big day, ask them what would help, such as who should take them to school, where they want to say goodbye, what they want to do after school. Having some control can help children manage their fears.
Last of all, remember to relax! If you are stressed, your child may sense this and worry too.
The first few weeks
As your child settles into school:
- they may be tired at the end of the day. Don’t plan too many after-school activities; make sure they have time to rest and for free play
- they may be ‘starving’ after school. Take a healthy snack when you pick them up. Try giving them an early dinner as they may be too tired to eat later
- they may want to tell you all about their day as soon as they see you. Be available to listen. Some children may want to relax first
- encourage them to talk about good things that happen at school
- make reading with them part of your daily routine. Bedtime stories are a great way to end the day.
For more helpful hints and tips on starting the school year right, check out the Starting School Parent Easy Guide.
Other parenting hints and tips are available at www.parenting.sa.gov.au.