Getting your child ready for the first day of a new year in school

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As a child progresses through the years at school they become more and more comfortable in that setting. Yet in the early years, it can be daunting for a child to be away from home for so many hours. Each time they move up a grade they are returning from a summer with family into an unknown environment with people they may or may not know. If you have ever started a new job you know how daunting that can be as an adult, now imagine how it would feel being a child. Here we share three key tips to ensure your child is ready for the first day back of school.

Routine is everything

While the first day of school is intimidating it should not be a complete shock to the system. If your child has being staying up late and sleeping in during the morning they will find it extremely tough to wake up for the first day of school. Getting them dressed, fed, and on the school bus will be a mammoth challenge that both you and they will suffer from. Start bringing back the morning and bedtime routine long before school returns to ensure they are ready for the challenge.

Meet the teacher

If your child is entering a new grade they are probably going to have a new teacher, a new classroom, and maybe some new classmates as well, in some cases, it may be an entirely different school. There are many things you can do to make this entirely different atmosphere less frightening. If there are new classmates you could try to talk to other parents to arrange a playdate so that they have some friendly faces, if it is a new school you could go for a tour too. However, what you should do every year is to meet the teacher. 

Teachers often want to get to know their students before a new year and in many cases send out child questionnaires. This is a fantastic way to find out if a child needs any special attention, medication, favorite and least favorite subjects, and even a little about their personality. While it informs the teacher about the student it tells the student nothing about the teacher. A new teacher can be heaven or hell for a student and before they meet the teacher most assume it will be hell. To show them that it is not, a meet and greet is a great idea.

Many teachers will organize open classroom sessions where they will be in a classroom and children and parents can drop in to say hello. This allows the student to see the classroom, where they will sit and meet their new teacher. This is a great idea as it can really take the pressure off the first day as they can visualize the entire experience. 

If your teacher isn’t organizing an open day then it is perfectly normal to get in contact and ask if you could meet. They have likely been asked many times before and know that it is in their interest to have a child at ease too. 

Be resilient

When you let a child go into a classroom they are often frightened because they feel the safety net of their parents is gone. If they make a mistake or don’t know someone, you won’t be there to solve the problem. This is why you need to teach a child the ability to look after themselves and solve their own problems. If you are always there to help them it will be a crisis the one time you are not. Start to get them to solve their own problems early so they are comfortable when at school and solving all their problems on their own.