Starting school can be a daunting experience for a five-year-old. Imagine walking into a class of 20 strangers, being told when to eat, when to play and where you have to sit. Life has already changed so much in the 5 short years your little one has been around, and things are about to turn upside down in their worlds again!
But rest assured, there are ways to try and ease your child to school-life before the big day comes around.
We asked parents and caregivers to share their tips with us.
1. Establish a routine early. It seems so boring, but children love routine. Knowing when things will happen and what they can expect before they start school will help ease anxiety when the bug day finally comes around. Once they start school, remember to keep the routine going at home- to have something they are certain of will be a little sanctuary amongst the chaos that is going around in their heads.
2. Make decisions together. Pick out the uniform, the stationery, and school bag together. This will make your child feel more in control and proud to finally be a big kid.
3. Make sure your child can hold a pencil correctly. Try shaping some blu-tack around a pencil to help their little fingers get into the right position.
4. Take advantage of as many school visits as you can. Make sure your child knows where the toilet is, where they’ll be eating lunch, where they will go for assemblies and where their classroom is in relation to the playground (remember they have to get back there after lunch)!
5. Teach them to sit still. Mat time can be the biggest struggle when children aren’t used to having to sit in one place for any period of time.
6. Go with the flow. Even if your child has already been full-time in pre-school for a while they will take a while to get used to school. The amount of ‘brain work’ will tire them out. If they fall asleep before dinner, you might just have to let them be!
7. Talk it over. Let your child know that it’s ok for them to be nervous, and that you will always be there for them to talk to at the end of the day.
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