The first day of school is among the most daunting memories in a child’s life. The thought of going to a new, unfamiliar place, filled with unknown people and away from your home and parents, is terrifying. It is not only difficult for the child but also for the parents.
So, how do you prepare your child for school?
There are a few things you can do during the weeks following the big day. These things will help your child bring out their emotions and soothe their jitters. But there’s one thing: let’s not make a huge deal about the first day, or it will end up scaring your child rather than getting them excited.
Read books about school.
You can check out your local library for books about going to school. You can pick several different ones and share them with your child over the weeks leading up to the first day. During the reading time, you can talk to them about the story, the characters, and how they feel. It will allow your child to bring out their feelings.
Play pretend-school to get them familiar
You can play pretend-school with your child so that they get familiar with certain aspects of the school. You can take turns to play with the child, teacher, and parent. There are several routines that you can teach them playfully, like saying good-bye to mummy/daddy, taking their jackets off, story reading, singing songs, nap time, etc. During this playtime, you can assure them how school is a fun, exciting, and new learning experience.
Conversing about school
Talk to your child about school in a positive and fun manner. Discuss all the fun activities that they will get to do in school while using their teacher’s name to familiarise them. Again, you can go through books about schools together and discuss their general time-table.
A school visit
While this could have been possible before the pandemic, it is somewhat difficult now. Since the school would be undergoing necessary pandemic preparations before opening, you could ask the school if they have any recent photographs. These photographs could be on their website or other social media. You can show these pictures of their classroom, corridor, playground, etc.
Know your school
You can find out if your school hosts any social events that you can attend as a family. Some schools that have active PTA hold summer fairs or picnics for the little ones. While the current situation might not allow the public gathering, but you can ask if there is any virtual event for children to participate in.
Some quick tips
- Talk to your child about their school schedule and tell them when their school starts and ends.
- Tell your child that it is okay to be nervous, and other children feel the same way.
- Put a note on their lunchbox telling them that you are thinking of them while they are in school.
It is okay for children to be anxious about their first day at school. You can ease their anxiousness by clearly talking to them and showing eagerness to hear their thoughts. Daycare nurseries like Cheeky Chums have activities that prepare the children for their school. We ensure that they get the right care and exposure so that ‘school’ doesn’t make them anxious. To find out more, contact us today!