Lots of children can't wait to start school, but even for the most confident of four year olds, it can be a bit daunting. Here are some of our ideas to help your child through the first day.
- Be positive. Your approach to your child's first day will guide their feelings.
- Hopefully you’ll have visited the school before your child's first day. Talk about their new classroom, their teacher and things like where they leave their coat and lunchbox etc.
- Talk about the routine of the day... you could even draw a visual timetable together (pictures of the sequence of things that will happen in the day). This helps your child make sense of their day.
- At home, point out the structure and routines in a day - "Let’s have our lunch now, this is the time you’d be having your lunch as school too.”
- Practise dressing and fastening shoes (go for velcro shoes, if possible), but don't worry if this proves too difficult, reception class teachers are used to helping.
- Help independence by practising social skills, such as taking turns, making choices and following directions.
- Help your child to recognise his name - they may be able to recognise the first letter or even the whole word.
- Get uniform ready and laid out ready for the morning and make sure all school bags are ready.
- About a week before the first day, start getting into the routine of getting up early, getting dressed & having breakfast. It’s very unsettling for children if they are woken at the last minute and deposited at school, with breakfast on the go.
- Teachers are very familiar with children who are worried in their first few weeks of 'big' school and are well equipped to deal with fears and tears.
- If you’ve got any concerns, don’t be afraid to go in to school – you’re not a paranoid parent!
- Finally … don’t forget to get the camera charged and ready to record the big day.
These are some of our ideas. We’d love to hear more from you!
Lisa & Tracey.