Are you guys like me? Sending a child off to school for the very first time? We are trying to get ready for our oldest to attend kindergarten and I have to say---I am not prepared! I think I'm more nervous than my daughter! Luckily, there are some helpful hings out there to help me prepare for the busy-ness that is public school! Below is a wonderful and helpful article from Dan Glibert of Primrose schools. I hope you find it as helpful as I did! Enjoy!
Summer’s end is just around the corner. We all know what that means, back- to- school for the children. A new school year means new clothes, new backpacks, new supplies, new friends, new routines and new nerves. Everything about the beginning of a school years is new, but especially new for our youngsters. The transition from preschool to kindergarten can be frightening for our little ones, but can be as smooth as butter with only a little bit of change in your daily lives.
Primrose Schools, a family of over 200 accredited child care facilities believes that for many families, that fresh start of school is often accompanied by household stress. Primrose believes in a little trust and routine to ease the jitters and reduce the stress of first day anxiety. Dr. Mary Zurn, vice president of education at Primrose Schools, also known as Dr. Z, says “If you prepare your family for the transition with a few simple adjustments to your routine, you will end up enjoying the milestone, instead of feeling anxious.” She also says, “The start of school marks the beginning of a new, fun adventure and should not be a source of stress.” Let’s be honest, who wants stress?
These simple tips suggested by Dr. Z can help eliminate any sort of stress or nerves, making this benchmark in your child’s life a time of celebration and excitement for the whole family.
1. 1. Establish a daily routine that fits your schedule and ask everyone to do his or her best to stick to it. If this is your first child embarking upon the journey into kindergarten or not, try and get the whole family synced into the same daily routine. Begin to establish a morning routine, starting each day off at the same time.
N 2. Nighttime routines are important too. Just as the morning routine is important, so is the bedtime routine. The mornings will be easier if everyone (yes, including you) takes care of tasks such as making lunches, packing backpacks, and picking out clothes the night before. Anything to make the mornings go by a little smoother will make everyone less stressed.
3. Get some rest. Be sure to accomplish night time responsibilities way before bedtime so it doesn’t cut into your little one’s sleep time. Many morning issues can be avoided if everyone is rested and ready to begin the day.
4.Read, read, and read some more. It’s often the anticipation of the unknown that makes children anxious about the first day of school. Reading about starting school gives children an opportunity to imagine their own experience and express their fears. The following books are fun to read and can help children prepare for the feelings they might experience when school starts.
· When Mommy and Daddy Go to Work by Joanna Cole
· Don’t Go by Jane Breskin Zalben
5. Shop for school supplies. Give your child the opportunity to pick out a few items he or she likes (within reason, of course) to provide a sense of ownership and confidence. Having self-confidence will be important to help ease your child’s jitters. Children love to go shopping!
6S 6. Set the stage. You can also ease some jitters by painting a picture of what the first day is going to be like for your child, a mental picture that is. Spend time telling your child descriptive short stories so he or she can visualize what their first day may entail.
7. Tour the school with your child. The unfamiliarity of the new school may scare your child. Call the school to see if there is a good time to bring your child in for a quick tour. Meet their teacher, visit the classroom, see where lunch will be eaten and most importantly, find out where recess will be! The familiar faces and places will give your child a sense of safety and assurance.
8. Prepare your child for longer periods of separation in increments. This may just as important for you as well! During those last weeks of summer, allow your child to spend time with family or friends. Whether it’s the whole day or just a few hours, this will allow your child to begin to experience what it is going to be like without you there and will not feel abandoned.
9. Say a quick “goodbye” and promise to come back. The longer you say goodbye, the more time there will be for nerves to build up! Say a quick goodbye, give a hug and a kiss, promise to come back and wave them off.
10. Establish a relationship with your child’s teacher. Make it known to your child
that you have a friendly relationship with their teacher. The more visible you can make the connection between home and school; the more secure your child will feel. Children look for emotional cues from Mom and Dad’s behavior. The more comfortable you are with your child’s teacher, the more comfortable your child will be.
These tips will not only help your child adjust, but you as well. Kindergarten is a big step in a child’s life and should be enjoyed by everyone around. Incorporate the excitement of returning to school with your final summer activities and your family will slide through the transition with ease. With these tips in mind, sit down with your family well before the first day, figure out which ideas will work best for you and your children, and make a plan for an easy, stress-free back-to-school transition.
Submitted by Dan Gilbert on behalf of Primrose Schools. For over 25 years, they have helped individuals achieve higher levels of success by providing them with an AdvancED® accredited, early child care services and education. Through an accelerated Balanced Learning® curriculum, Primrose Schools students are exposed to a widely diverse range of subject matter giving them a much greater opportunity to develop mentally, physically and socially. Dan has written a number of articles on topics varying from bilingual learning to teaching the importance of volunteering.