How to Prepare Your Child for School – Top 10 Tips

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A school girl in her mother's arms

Going to school for the very first time can be can be frightening for children and nerve-racking for the parents. The prospect of going to a new place full of strangers and being away from the parents can be quite daunting for any child. This article explains various ways to prepare your child for school.

Ways to Prepare Your Child for School

How to prepare your child for preschool is a question that several parents have. Most children get anxious at the thought of going to someplace new and meeting people they have never seen before. You can help your child overcome the anxiety about starting school by fostering an enthusiastic and positive attitude towards school. Here are 10 ways to prepare your child for starting school:

1. Explain the Schedule

To know how to get ready for the first day of school, your child should first understand what a school day will be like. Explain your child about the regular schedule of a school. Tell her who will be in class with your child, and what she is expected to do. Make her practice eating from a lunch box. Make your child practice sitting still and listening to instructions. This will prepare her for sitting in the classroom for long and following the teacher’s instructions.

2. Visit the School Together

If the school has an orientation session prior to the starting date, make sure you attend it with your child. This way, you and your child can get an idea of what the school premises look like. You will also be able to meet the teacher and other parents. Your child can befriend other children who will be her classmates once the school begins. Even if there is no orientation, arrange to visit the school with your child.

3. Try on the Uniform

Try on school uniforms. This will get your child excited about going to school in a uniform. If there is no uniform, you can buy school supplies and let your child pack them in a school bag. This is a way for your child to practice packing her own school bag.

A mother dressing her girl

4. Ask Your Child How She Feels

Ask your child how she feels about going to school. Do not dismiss her fears or concerns. Make a note of your child’s reaction when there are conversations about school. See if your child reacts enthusiastically or anxiously. Try to reassure your child by answering all her questions. Encourage your child by fostering positive behaviour.

5. Point Out the Positives

Point out the positives about school in a cheerful and enthusiastic manner. Tell her how making new friends and learning new things can be a lot of fun. You can also tell your child stories about how school was fun for you when you were a child.

6. Have a Play Date with Other Kids in the Same Class

Organise a play date with other children who are going to be your child’s classmates. This way, your child will already have friends in the class before the school begins. Teach your child to say hello to her classmates and teacher.

7. Regularise the Sleep Routine

Sleep is very important for growing children. It is important to sleep early and wake up early on school days. A few days before school begins, start getting your child to bed early and train her to wake up early. This way, the child’s sleep routine becomes regular, and she will not be fussy and sleep deprived while going to school.

8. Train Her for Academic Readiness

School can be challenging if your child has no prior preparation. Before school begins, encourage your child to read and write her own name. Teach her the basics of numbers, colours, and letters of the alphabet. Let your child do artwork like finger painting or making shapes using modelling clay. This will help your child develop fine motor skills that are required for writing. Read to your child every day. Children who have experience with books will find it easy to learn to read. Reading to your child also helps her develop listening abilities. This will even prepare her when she goes for her admission interview in a school. Play games with your kid that involve listening to instructions and waiting for her turn to speak. This will prepare her for following instructions in school.

A mother reading to her daughter

9. Ensure That Your Child Can Use the Toilet Independently

Children will have to use the toilet on their own in school. So, practice with your child and teach her how to manage bathroom door locks. Tell her to ensure that her dress is back in place before leaving the bathroom stall. Also, teach the child to flush the toilet and wash hands after use.

10. Train Your Child to Take Care of Her Things

Make your child understand that it is important to take care of her belongings. Teach her to put things like books, pencils, erasers, crayons, etc. back into her bag after use. Also, teach her how to pack up and store the lunch box in her bag after eating lunch. Let your child assist you in labelling all the belongings that are required for school. This way, the child will get used to recognising her name in print and will know which of the supplies belong to her.

Children can get nervous about going to school for the first time. Some children even have school phobia. With a little help from parents, children can overcome this fear and make learning fun. Before starting school, make sure that you teach your child about fire and road safety. Explain to your child how to handle things when an adult or another child makes her feel uncomfortable. You can also come up with a goodbye routine to make sure your child does not feel anxious about leaving you. When you leave your child at school, do not sneak out without saying goodbye, as this will make your child feel distressed. Instead, say goodbye calmly and explain that you will be back once school ends for the day.

Also Read: Is Boarding School Right for Your Child

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