How To Prepare Your Child For The Start Of School

Going back to school can be difficult for a child, especially for those moving from preschool to freshman year. However, in the face of our children’s anxiety, there are things we can do to help them.
How to prepare your child for the start of school

The beginning of classes is a sum of emotions for the children: joy, fear, worry and even sadness. As parents,  we can prepare our children so that starting school is the pleasant, positive experience they need.

Of course, a child who is leaving preschool for the first year is not the same one who is past the first year and is returning to school after the vacation period. However, despite the obvious differences due to the age and complexity of the series, the recommendations we’ll share serve equally well in both situations.

The beginning in preschool

Starting  preschool education means an adjustment process for every child, including those who have already had the experience of being in a day care center or kindergarten. From nursery care, the child moves to a structure with different dynamics.

The ability to adapt will depend on the child’s way of being and previous experiences.  A shy child will have a different approach than an extroverted child. Likewise, for a child who was used to being cared for by his mother or other family member, it is a big challenge to start in a completely different environment, with adults and children he doesn’t know.

The average age for a child to enter a preschool is between 3 and 4 years. It’s a great new experience for your short lives.

What we can do to prepare them is to be patient, not rush them or overload them with more stress than they can handle.

Prepare the child for the start of classes

a peaceful exit

Mother with child at the beginning of school

Avoid difficulties and hassles before leaving home. Don’t add more stress to the child. Make it as prepared as possible the night before.

Make sure your child goes to bed early the night before and wakes up in time for a quiet breakfast. This way, she can leave calmly to enjoy the entrance to the school.

Find out and talk to the child

Find out what his daily routine will be and  tell your child what will happen at the start of school.  As long as he knows what he is going to do on a daily basis, the child will feel more confident and more comfortable. If they can get to know and visit the classroom and school before classes start, it can be even more helpful.

Take and fetch the child

As much as possible, for a young child, it is ideal that the mother or father, or both together, can take them to school in the morning and pick them up when they leave. This will give you the confidence and security you need to stay calm during the hours you spend in the school environment.

“I’ll come back for you”

Getting to a new place where you can have children (and parents) crying is very stressful. Assure your child that he needs to be alone for a while and that you will come pick him up later.  Avoid saying “I’m not leaving” as this is not true and you need to go. If you tell him that, when the child finds out you are gone, you will break his trust in you.

quick farewells

Mother talking to her daughter about the start of school

learn and play

It is very positive that you inform yourself about the activities that the child will have at school to reinforce them at home. However, it is equally important that  the child has time to play at home after he has completed the school day. If you can play with her, so much the better.

positive reinforcement

Encourage him to share how he does it at school. Be happy with your daily progress.  If the child doesn’t want to go, avoid asking, “Why don’t you want to go to school?” Better would be: “What do you like about school?”, “What made you angry?”, “What does the teacher do when a child misbehaves?”

Contact with the teacher

Children at the beginning of classes

Although the teacher fills out an agenda with requests for parents on a daily basis, or even gets in touch through parent-teacher Whatsapp groups,  you need to speak directly with the teacher about any questions or concerns  you may have about the child and their adaptation to the school environment.

If the child is going to the first year or another grade

After passing preschool, the  beginning of the first year also involves a new adaptation process.  Preschool education is preparatory to what comes next and is undoubtedly more flexible. The recommendations we’ve presented are applicable to older children staying happy while adapting to change.

The beginning of each school year brings with it its dose of emotions and expectations, which will certainly decrease over the years or will have different nuances. However, there will always be some teachers and some new classmates that you will need to meet and deal with.

From the first year onwards, it  is always good to do a general review of what was learned in the previous year, as well as to readjust to sleep and wake up early. A week or two of preparation is enough to reduce the nervousness generated by any new beginning.

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