School is about to start and there are many emotions associated with going back to school. Your child may be excited, anxious, nervous, happy, or scared. All of these emotions are perfectly okay. It is important to acknowledge your child’s emotions and support them as they transition from summer back to school. Here are some ideas to help your child transition from summer to school.
Visit the school
It is important to expose your child to the school prior to first day. Does your child’s school have a playground that you can visit a few times prior to school starting? By visiting the playground early you might be able to meet other children that will also be attending the school. Attend the open house and meet the teacher ahead of time. This can decrease first day anxieties by already knowing what the teacher looks like and their name.
Get Excited yourself
The more excitement you have about the new adventures your child will have at school the more excited they will get. Children pick up on our emotions so if you are excited they are more likely to be excited versus if you are nervous or scared they will minimic those emotions.
Support Your School
Does your school has specific school colors or clothing you can purchase ahead of time? This can help your child feel part of the school community. Does your school collect box tops or can tops? Collecting these can help your child feel like they are participating in school. Look into these items on the schools webpage or school newsletter.
Practice the routine
A few days prior to school starting – start practicing the morning routine. What will be order of the morning? You can write the routine (or have pictures) to help the child understand the morning routine. Where will essential items be located? (Backpack, lunch, water bottle, computer/ipad, etc… Keep these items in the same spot every day. Set the morning expectations. Will your child be able to watch TV or use the computer before school? Decide these rules prior to the first day of school.
Talk through the school day
Once you receive the child’s daily schedule start talking it out with your child. First you have recess (you will get to play on the playground and with friends) and then you will have math class. During math class you will practice counting and adding. Go through this pattern for each class throughout the day. It is important to talk through the lunch process. Will your child have cold lunch or hot lunch? You can talk to the teacher ahead of time to discuss the lunch room process. This way you can help your child understand the routine and expectations.