Starting preschool in the early grades is an important milestone for you and your child. It may be his or her first step out of the house or a transition to a new setting and new friends. Even returning to a familiar program generates excitement, pleasure, and anxiety. At the 3, 4, and 5-year-old developmental stages, “change” can bring a multitude of feelings and thoughts.
Some children accept and enjoy change more than others. But it is not uncommon for even the most “experienced” child to need extra attention during school’s first days and weeks. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of the things you need to know to smooth your kid’s journey through school.
1. Talk to your child about the big day a few days before and prepare him/her in advance
Talking to your child about school a few days beforehand is essential to making him feel ready. There’s no need to talk about it earlier, as toddlers can’t anticipate events far in advance. Get your child used to the area, and walk the route to school once or twice with your child. Circle the start date on the calendar and count the days until the big day.
To motivate him, you can buy him a nice school bag or backpack that he likes. Reading a few books on the theme of back to school and school will familiarize him with his future world and remove his apprehensions. The day before school starts, prepare the clothes he likes so that he feels as comfortable as possible!
2. Value his new status as a “big kid”
To boost his self-confidence, don’t hesitate to emphasize the important step he is about to take: “The great secret of life is to become a big boy. When you go to school, you’ll become a grown-up, you’ll learn a lot of exciting things, new games too. You will be able to realize your dreams, become a doctor, an airline pilot, or any other job you like.”
Making the connection between school and future dreams motivates a little one. And if they’re a little jealous of the little brother or sister who will stay home with mom, add another layer: “School is for grown-ups, the little ones will continue to play at home like babies, while you’ll learn a lot. Play is fun and that’s fine, but school is where the real life of a grown-up begins!”
3. Explain the day’s schedule
Like any newcomer, your toddler needs clear information. Use simple words: “You’ll experience your first day of school, you’ll meet other kids and most importantly, you’ll learn great things that will help you when you grow up.” Describe the exact flow of a school day, activities, meal times, nap times, and mommy times. Who will accompany him in the morning? Who will pick him up?
Explain what is expected of a kindergarten student: he or she must be clean, know how to dress and undress without help, put on and take off his or her shoes by himself or herself, go to the bathroom to wash his or her hands after the toilet and before the lunch break, recognize his or her labels and take care of his or her things.
4. Talk to your child about the rules and constraints of school
There are now two worlds for your toddler: at home, where he chooses the activities he wants to do, and at school, where he must accept to do activities that he didn’t necessarily choose. Don’t “sell” school to him as a permanent leisure activity; talk to him about the constraints. In class, we do what the teacher asks when she asks, and we can’t “zap” if we don’t like it!
Another sensitive subject: the nap. In a small section, it takes place at the beginning of the afternoon, and even if he does not make some at home, it will be necessary that he bends with this routine. Finally, explain to him that he will have to eat what is offered at the canteen, not necessarily his favorite little dishes!
5. Tell him what you liked at school
Nothing is more motivating for a child than the enthusiasm of his parents. Tell him what you liked to do in kindergarten when you were little: play tag at recess, draw pretty pictures, learn to write your name, and listen to good stories. Tell your child about your friends, the teachers who made an impression on you, who helped and encouraged you; in short, evoke the positive memories that will make him want to live these enriching experiences too.
Looking for help?
Are you looking for a daycare center? Do you live in Victoria? Then look no further than Munchkin Services Pty Ltd. They have an open-door policy, and you are free to come in as often as you like. They are a family-owned and operated business located in Hillside, Victoria, that takes great care to ensure your child’s well-being and happiness. So, what are you waiting for? Call them today to find out if they are the right fit for you and your child.