7 Tips for Children Starting School
My daughter is due to start school in just 2 weeks. I’ve bought her uniform, labeled all of her belongings, timed how long it takes to walk to school and even practiced different hairstyles using bobbles and clips that match her school uniform.
From the outside looking in, it seems like I’ve totally got this. But I really don’t. I almost feel like I’m having an out of body experience and every now and then reality will tap me on the shoulder and I feel anxiety rise up from my stomach - my baby is starting school - how did this happen???
I know people say ‘the early years fly by’ and one day you’re bringing your newborn home from the hospital and the next you’re taking them to their first day at school but I don’t feel like that at all. The last 4 and a half years have been the longest of my life. But in a good way. I can’t really remember my life before motherhood although I’m certain it included much more sleep and far less washing.
But the start of school seems to have crept up on me. Despite actively planning and preparing for it for a full year, I still can’t believe that in 13 days I’m going to be kissing my little one goodbye and leaving her to fend for herself.
OK, I know I’m being slightly dramatic because my daughter has been attending nursery 2-3 days a week since she was 9 months old so she probably won’t have terrible separation anxiety but she will be in an unfamiliar environment, surrounded by lots of people she doesn’t know who are also going to be experiencing some pretty big emotions themselves.
So like any modern day mummy, I turned to the internet for some advice. After reading countless, blogs, forums and articles about settling children into school, I’ve pulled together a list of my favourite suggestions for you all.
- Talk, talk, talk. Between now and the day you drop your child off at school, talk to them about starting school every day. Speak enthusiastically. Make them feel like they’re going on an exciting adventure where they will learn amazing new things and meet new friends.
- Make sure they have the skills they need for their new level of independence. Can they put on their own shoes, fasten their coat, use a knife and folk?
- Role play at home using school scenarios. Teddy bears make excellent students.
- Buy cheap shirts. Be prepared to get through lots of tops as they explore the paint and pens at school.
- Label everything. Use their full name (even include their middle name) on the labels so there is no doubt who the item belongs to.
- Let them wear their school uniform at home a few times to get used to the feel of it and figure out how the different fastenings work. And tell them how smart they look!
- Do not cry or get upset when you leave them at school as this will only upset your child. Put on a brave face, smile widely and tell them you can’t wait to hear all about their day when you pick them up later.