Insightful tips for parents for stress-free ways to get ready for child’s first day of school with no fuss or muss.
For some children the idea of going to school is looked upon with trepidation. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
You can play an integral role in getting your child ready for the first day of school so that they can face the school year without fear or worry with these helpful tips:
1. Talk it Up
Most of the fears kids have for the first day of school focuses on the unknown. So discuss what worries them the most and share your own memories of how you dealt with the first day of school jitters.
2. Do a Walk Through
I can’t think of any child who welcomes the opportunity to go cold into a new school.
So check in with new school to see if the staff will allow a walk-through prior to the start of the new year. Show your child where the lunch room and gym are, as well as other key places around the school that they need to know. This experience will definitely boost your child’s confidence to maneuver the maze of hallways and floors of their new school.
Better yet, try to do this tour either early summer when the student load is at a minimum or just before school starts. Some schools even offer a special session for K4-K5 Kindergarten students to help relieve youngster’s stress and anxiety.
Tip: Use a hand-drawn or a school generated map to help your kids know the location where their classes (and locker) are. There’s nothing worse than getting lost on the first day of school. So ease any chance of this kind of humiliation by being proactive.
3. Have all Forms Filled Out
There’s nothing worse than being singled out in class for not having one’s paperwork filled out.
The fact is, schools must follow prescribed state and local laws and requirements for registering school-age children. This includes (but are not limited to) an application forms, emergency contact forms, bus transportation requests, immunization forms, etc.
Make sure that you take the time to fill these out as best you can before your child attends class. Contact your child’s school if you have any questions.
4. Meet and Greet
Oftentimes, children are unable to picture who their teacher(s) are, so make it a point to meet with your child’s teacher beforehand. This is a great way to help your child place a name to a face.
And, if there are any children in your neighborhood that are also going to your child’s school, find some way to introduce them to your child. You can even coordinate with the other neighborhood moms and dads to have a meet-and-greet perhaps at a park or even host a friendly barbecue party.
Offering an unstructured time to get to know one’s peers in a neutral setting will allow your child to have some much needed support for the first day of school.
Tip: If you have any concerns about the new school year or want to speak to your child’s teacher about your child’s learning disabilities (or abilities), behavioral concerns, or even changing family situations, by all means do so. Try to schedule this meeting, though, at a different time other than your child’s first glimpse at their new teacher.
5. Make Sure You Have All Your School Supplies
Check with your school to see if they have a class or grade generated supply list. Try to get this as soon as you can to help garner the best prices on school supplies.
And, once home, make sure you label and pack all of the supplies in your child’s backpack. Set the example to be proactive.
Tip: When looking for kids clothing and gym shoes, be sure to also check for online and store sales and purchase early. You’ll be glad you did.
6. On the Night before…
- Have your child’s clothes set out. You can also give your child a couple of choices and let them pick their favorite, giving them some control over their first day appearance.
- Get their backpack ready. Have all of your child’s supplies labeled and packed to alleviate worries the next day. No one likes surprises so having everything ready and in its place is a perfect start to the school year.
- Do a run-through. This is also a good time to do a “run-through” of your child’s first day and to make sure that there aren’t any loose ends that need to be taken care of. If your child is to use a locker this year, make sure that they have their locker combination memorized. You may even want to have the combination placed somewhere discretely so that they can check it, just in case the first day jitters makes them accidentally forget it.
- Make sure that your child gets to bed early. Being wide awake for the next day’s activities will make them ready for all the challenges they will come across.
7. On the Day of…
- Make sure your child gets up early to get ready (and allow time for dawdling).
- Make sure your child has a good breakfast.
- Walk your child to the bus stop.
- When they come home, be at the bus stop to greet them or be an avid listener when you get home at night.
Helpful Books to Read to Your Kids About the First Day of School
One of the ways that I helped my own children get over the first day jitters is by reading to them. Somehow the humor or the way the characters got through the first day’s difficulties helped my kids deal with their own misgivings.
The First Day of School | The Night Before First Grade | Curious George’s First Day of School | Exceptionally Extraordinarily Ordinary First Day of School | Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School | Dora’s First Day of School | Berenstain Bears Go to School | It’s the First Day of School Forever | Splat the Cat Back to School, Splat! | Maisy Goes to Preschool
Other Helpful First Day Resources
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