The first day back to school can be an anxious time for children and parents alike. During the summer holidays, family time is often more relaxed, getting out of bed later, going to bed later and eating at different times. Children may also have been very busy doing lots of fun and energetic activities. Once school starts back children will be back into a different routine.
It is important to transition your child out of holiday mode and into school mode. Below are some tips for setting your child up well to start the school year off in a positive and relaxed manner:
In your child’s school bag
lunch and a water bottle. Get your child to help you pack their lunchbox
stationery list is available from the school office to purchase yourself or through the office
hats are needed in terms 1 and 4
Name all equipment and uniform
a change of clothes if they prone to toileting accidents
In the morning before you leave
get up early so you have plenty of time to get ready and your child doesn't feel rushed and stressed
have a nutritious breakfast – food is brain fuel
ensure school uniform is clean and ready to put on
allow plenty of time for getting to school
on the way the school chat about what they think their day will be like –help them start with a positive mind frame
If your child has had a ‘tricky’ morning before school, it is a good idea to let their child’s teacher know so they can support them to settle in well for the rest of the day
When you get to school
go into the classroom and say hello or kia ora to the teacher with your child
tell the teacher about after school arrangements if you won't be the person picking your child up
make sure your child is aware of home they are going home at the end of the day
it helps children to feel they belong if they know other children. Make a point of stopping to chat with children and parents and/or caregivers you know as you arrive
make goodbyes short. Teachers have a lot of experience helping children to settle in and managing an upset child
if you pick up your child ask the teacher how their day went
expect your child to be tired in the first few weeks. Make time when you get home to just hang out. They might need to run around outside, chill out on a bean bag with some books, or just collapse in front of the TV
don't schedule in lots of afternoon activities to begin with - let them just get used to their new routines first
offer them a nutritious afternoon tea. They will probably be very hungry!
Let them adjust to being at home before asking too much about their day. It's a lot easier to get children of any age to talk about their day when they are doing something else with you – helping to make dinner, tidying up, or drying the dishes. Ask ‘What fun thing happened for you at school today?’ Keep it positive
get in the habit of having some shared reading every day, right from the start
Your child’s teacher will likely have a number of new children and parents to speak with at the beginning of the term. It may be best to make an appointment time to meet with them rather than try to catch them at the beginning of the day, when they are getting their classrooms/students ready for the day. Give your child time to settle back into school and their new classroom.
Ultimately it is important that your child starts school in a happy, relaxed manner each morning so they can get the most out of their learning. At Wairakei Primary School we value the 3-way partnership between teacher, student and caregivers.
We look forward to seeing you at the start of the new school year.
Keywords: starting school, new year, transition, routines