The first day at primary school can be a real trial and testing experience for both you and your child. While it’s true that it is only one day out of many, the importance of first impressions shouldn’t be underestimated. As a parent, you have the power to help your children prepare for this ‘rite of passage’ properly and enjoy their first day of studies. The following tips will help you do this:
One of the most common problems that can put a negative spin on this day is not having some simple but essential tool. This doesn’t seem like much of an issue to an adult, but when you are young and nervous, this can become a real personal tragedy.
Prepare for the first day in advance, and be sure to include your child in the decision making process. You should make an effort to get the little one interested in school, and shopping together for the items your child would like is a great method of motivation. Get the list of necessary supplies from the school so that you can purchase them beforehand. Many of the items will be regulated, so your child won’t be able to actually choose the type they like. However, be sure to allow your kid as much freedom as possible with the rest of their school inventory (lunchbox, pencil box, water bottle, etc.)
Pack the schoolbag and prepare the clothes on the night before. Do this together at first, but let your child take the lead. This is a very good school prep habit and you should start building it from the first day at primary school.
Many children are anxious about going to school because they don’t know what to expect. You can easily alleviate their fears by explaining what going to school is like and what you expect from them.
This is a topic that may require several long conversations to cover thoroughly, so start your ‘school talks’ a few months in advance. You should explain the role of the teacher and that children can turn to the staff for help at any moment. Cultivating trust is very important at this point as you need to be sure that your child will actually seek assistance if they encounter some problem. Sharing some of your school stories would be a great idea and should make the kids relax and look towards the first day of their primary school adventure with anticipation.
If you’ve never spent much time apart, your child is sure to be anxious about being separated for such a long time. You’ll need to explain that you will come to pick them up right on time and that you are looking forward to hearing interesting stories about their first day at primary school.
Talk to the teacher if you are concerned about your child’s behaviour and make sure they know to contact you in case of an emergency. You also need to keep your own separation anxiety under control because children are very perceptive and they will get more stressed if they feel your worry.
Visiting the premises before the school year starts will help the child become more familiar with the place and reduce their anxiety. It would be best if you undertake this project a few months in advance, so that you can see other children going through their classes and playing during breaks.
Another great method of preparing for the first day at primary school is to give your child a learning experience. This can be simply at home running a small session or attending your local library and seeing what workshops they have available.
At Global Education Academy, we have a great team of mentors that have brought up many years of students from Kindergarten through to High School. Unlike other tutoring centre’s, we really build a mentor-student relationship, that really can make learning fun.