It can seem a daunting task as a parent, preparing both your child and yourself for the first day of school. As teachers, we understand that you are entrusting us with your most valuable possession and we take this very seriously.
Preparing your child isn’t making sure they can read, write, add and subtract; instead spend time together singing nursery rhymes, reading and having conversations about the world around them.
Encourage your child to be independent, so that when they are at school they can put on their coat, do up their shoes and use a knife and fork independently. Though teachers will always be there to help, it makes getting ready for lessons and break times a lot easier which means more time learning and having fun!
Let your child be a part of the exciting process of starting school by choosing their lunchbox, trying on their new uniform and knowing where to look for the name label so they mostly come home with their own clothes.
If they haven’t been for visits to the school, take a walk with them and show them their new school. At a quiet time point out the gate where you will drop them off and the playground where they will make new friends.
On their first day, make sure you are prepared the night before so there is time to stop and take a moment, take a photo and think about this exciting step into a new chapter that you are about to take.
Remember that the tears at the gate are often for your benefit, and, sorry to say, but 99% of the time they forget to be upset as soon as they enter the classroom. We know that this is an emotional time for you too. The easiest way for everyone is to say goodbye and tell your child that you will be back at the end of the day to pick them up then walk away as hard as that may be.
At the end of the day the common question is ‘How was your day?’ but to get more of a response you might like to ask ‘What made you feel happy today?’ ‘How were you brave today?’, ‘What are you looking forward to tomorrow?’.
Always talk to the teacher if there is a problem even if you think it is small, discussing a small problem is easier than dealing with a big problem.
Remember that this is our job, it is what we are qualified to do and we enjoy being with your child, helping them learn and grow and working with you to help them discover who they are.