It`s that time of the year again. Early mornings, time tables, packed lunches, home work, classes, PTA meetings...you`re back to your hectic routine.
Back to school often means changes for children and families: the first day of kindergarten or first grade; new pre-schools or child care settings; new classrooms and new teachers. Making a smooth transition between home and school can help children feel good about themselves.
Transitions are exciting opportunities for children to learn and grow. Parents and early childhood professionals share a role in making children feel safe and secure as they move to new educational settings. Of course, such milestones in children`s lives can cause anxiety, too. Strengthening the ties between school programmes and families will help create smooth transitions for both parents and children. How parents can help
Get your children kitted out well in advance and do take their advice while selecting their gear for the term. This would add to the excitement of school re-opening!
You could take your children through their daily routines a week before re-opening day to get them used to the new schedule. Mock drills like this teach them the importance of punctuality and time management.
Start daily routines that will add to continuity. Let your child become involved with packing lunch or laying out clothes. Also, begin an earlier bedtime several weeks before.
Be enthusiastic about the upcoming change. If you are excited and confident, your child will be, too.
Prepare yourself. Take note of how your child reacts to separation. If possible, visit the new setting with your child. Introduce your child to the new teacher or early childhood professional in advance.
Arrange a play date with another child from the programme, preferably a one-on-one basis, so that your child will see a familiar face when she walks in.
Put aside extra time, particularly on the first day, for chatting and commuting together.
Always say good-bye to your child. Be firm, but friendly about separating. Make supportive statements like, "it`s hard to say good-bye".
At the end of the work day, put aside your concerns and focus on being a parent.
Of course, children (as well as moms!), will still count the months till their next vacation but then..... that`s another how to!