Prepare your little one for the first day of school
It’s hard to believe it is back to school season already. For some of our “Big Kids” it is going to their first day of school. The first day of school brings mixed emotions to all parents. For those with children starting for the first time, it is happiness mixed with nervousness. “Will my kids be okay without me?” “Will they be able to make new friends?” “Will they like their teacher?” “Have I done enough to prepare them for school?”
With parents who have children that are returning to school, most are glad to have them out of the house. OK seriously, a lot of them feel a little better about the transition but still have worries. “Will they be in the same class with their friends from last year?” “Will they get along with their new teacher?” “How much harder will the curriculum be for them?” “Will they be able to handle the extra work load?”
Whatever grade your child is going into, it is important to remember that they feed of our energies. A lot of our kids will be nervous if they see we are nervous. Others will be excited if we let them know how much fun going to a new school can be.
For our kids going into JK, make them comfortable with their letters, numbers and colours. All kids learn on different levels but if we work with them at home, they will be more at ease learning in school. It is also a good idea to get them started on learning how to spell their name.
I also believe that teaching our children social skills will help them in school. Just being able to go up to another child and asking them their name, will help our kids enjoy the school experience a little more. Making friends is a very big part of our school life and even the shyest child will be able to engage with others if we help them along.
Before the first day of school, visit the school a few times. If you (or a sitter) will be walking your little one, walk the route a few times with them so they will know it. If they will be taking the bus, talk to them about the bus and what the rules are so they know them ahead of time. Don’t know what the rules are? Here are a few important ones:
1. Stay seated for the entire bus ride, and never stand while the bus is moving. Wait until the bus stops completely before exiting.
2. Stand at least six feet away from the curb as the bus approaches, and take two giant steps away from the bus as soon as you exit.
3. Never play in the street while waiting for the bus to arrive.
4. Never reach under the school bus to get something that has rolled underneath. Alert the bus driver instead.
5. Never walk behind the bus or close to the side or front of the bus since you could be in the driver’s blind spot. When walking in front of the bus, stay about ten feet (10 giant steps) or more away from the bus’ nose. Line up facing the school bus door and not along the side of the bus.
6. Remain quiet when entering and leaving the bus.
7. Always look both ways before crossing in front of the school bus. Use your eyes and ears before you cross the street.
8. Speak quietly with friends on the bus. Too much noise is distracting to the bus driver.
9. Don’t push or shove when entering and leaving the bus.
10. Walk in a single file line and hold the handrails when leaving and entering the bus to avoid falls.
11. Always exit from the front of the bus.
12. Keep the bus aisles clear by keeping your feet and book bags out of the way.
The most important thing you can do to prepare your child is reassure them and be prepared to let go. Our children are growing up faster than we would like but we are our own worst enemies. If we are not willing to let them go and reach for the stars, they won’t. So make the first day of school an exciting event in their life and remind them that it is going to be a fun experience.