Preparing your child for back to school

back to school

Whether your child just getting into nursery school or returning to school after a summer break, back to school is an exciting, nerve-wracking, and stressful event.

A little preparation will ease any worries and make this first day a pleasant experience for everyone.

The first school year

You may have conflicting emotions when your child first goes to school. You will be proud of this new stage of his/her development, but fearful of his/her reactions; you will be unconsciously afraid of losing your baby.

These feelings are natural and your child is likely to have similar feelings. He is happy and proud to start school, but he is nervous and wonders what awaits him.

Here are some tips to help you prepare your child for their first day of school:

  • Talk to him about how he/she feels and acknowledge his/her feelings. Reassure him by emphasizing his ability to adapt so that he sees school in a positive light.
  • Explain to him that there will always be someone around to tell him where to go or what to do. Tell him there’s nothing childish about asking for help – and that’s exactly the right thing to do.
  • Visit the school with him; if possible, meet the teacher and go to the classroom. Show him the locker room, restrooms, cafeteria, and yard, and tell him about recess.
  • If possible, make him meet one or more companions and classmates; invite them to play at your house and meet the parents.
  • For a few days or weeks, accompany your child to school, until he feels safe. If he starts crying, don’t stay there: children usually recover very quickly once the parents are out of sight. If possible and the school allows it, spend some time in the classroom with him on the first day.
  • If it is impossible for you to pick him up from school, arrange for your child to come home with a friend.

Preparing for the start of the school year

Even children who have been in school for several years are worried about returning to a new class and meeting a new teacher. Encourage them to talk about it and tell them that everything will be fine.

  • Establish the school routine at least a week before the start of the school year. Your children may have gotten used to going to bed and getting up late. Gradually return to your usual bedtime and breakfast times.
  • Treat the “back to school” as a positive and stimulating experience. Help your child rearrange their room to find their clothes or do their homework.
  • Make shopping for clothes and school supplies a special day for the child. Take him out to eat and talk to him about his fears and aspirations.
  • Encourage him to set aside study time before the start of the school year to prepare for homework. Your child may wish to revise certain subjects or complete unfinished exercises. Encourage him to set aside time to read or write.
  • Before the start of the school year, make the trip to school with the youngest. If possible, meet the teacher and visit the classroom.
  • Before school starts, review with your child the tips for protecting yourself against the dangers of the streets. If he has to walk there and back, remind him that he should always walk with a buddy.

Back to school day

At first, parents and children may find it difficult to adjust to the routine of the school year. Here are some tips to help you prepare for this big day and gradually establish a routine:

  • Ask the child to choose their clothes the night before. This is a good habit to adopt that will reduce stress the next morning.
  • Let him choose the contents of his lunch box (assuming that it will contain foods from the main food groups).
  • If your child can read, surprise him by placing a little note in his lunch box that will comfort him during the meal break.
  • Make sure he gets a good lunch.
  • When you get home, give her time to relax before asking her questions about her first day of school. Let him know that you’re very anxious to hear what happened, but understand that he’d like a glass of milk, juice, or snack first.
  • Help him adjust to the homework routine. Prepare a peaceful and comfortable place for him to work and make sure he has everything he needs.

Remember that the first few days are particularly stressful, as the child has to get used to the new school routine. It will take some time before everyone really relaxes. However, with good communication between parent and child and a minimum of preparation, you will help the child prepare for the big day back to school.

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One Comment

  1. It is difficult to find well-informed people on this subject, but you seem to know what you are talking about! Thanks

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