Going back to school can be a strenuous time for all involved, parents, teachers and children including pre-schoolers. I am sure even some experienced teachers may get a few butterflies in their stomachs when it is time to go back to school and especially when his or her child starts school, pre-school or kindergarten. But, it is good to lay aside all those worries and start concentrating on what is important. It is very vital to plan ahead when sending our children to school.
To begin with, remain calm, confident, optimistic and supportive. Start preparing your child for their school schedule a little in advance.
Let us look at a few tips that will help parents in preparing their pre-schoolers back to school. Many of these tips are recommended by teachers or parents who have years of experience teaching and handling kindergarten or pre-schoolers.
- Prepare your child for an early school routine: Children are good with following routines so starting with a school routine early is very important. School year schedules are quite different, so get your pre-schoolers habituated to wake up at a particular time daily and put them to bed early or at a particular time. This way children will get used to set timings and this will help set their body clock as per the school timings.
- Get information about the school: Try and obtain more information about school and talk to your child about the school. This will be a good time for bonding with your child as well as him informing him or her about the school. Listen carefully to your pre-schooler and provide your child with answers for any questions they might ask. It will be a brilliant ideal to share a few scenes or incidents that took place during your school days and share those light moments with your child.
- Attend school orientation programmes: This is such an important step that every parent needs to take. Even though your child has spent a while at pre-schools this would be a new experience for your child as he or she may have a new teacher and a new atmosphere. It would be excellent to take your child to orientation programmes that take place at pre-schools to have a rough idea about school.
If you are unable to do so then see to it that a member of your family or friend, whom you can rely on will be able to take your child to orientation programmes. This will help your child relax or ease a bit with his or her anxiety levels.
- Equip your child with the right gear: Children have the quality to fit in so it would be good if you as a parent would start figuring out the school requirements that your child would need to meet with. For example find out about the dress code (if any). Check if you can get any list for buy the items required. Try to gather all information and begin to buy things before the academic year begins. This will help you keep their lunch boxes, uniforms and stationery ready ahead of time. This will avoid the stress of last minute shopping as it is a very anxious time for both children and parents.
Do not forget to check with their school if they would have a list of things to bring in and a list not to bring in. This will help both teachers and students (children) to stay on the same page.
It is also a good idea to go ‘school’ shopping with your child. Get them excited about school. Let them pick up their lunchboxes, water bottles and school bags that they can take to school. This will also bring in a sense of ownership in the kids minds.
- Encourage your child to be independent: It is very important to offer the appropriate independence to your child at this stage. Children learn to take care of themselves when they are allowed to do real tasks. This will give them a joy of achieving true accomplishment. For example, allow them to clean up by themselves after lunch or dinner, let them choose their clothes for special occasions etc. While they may not perform this task to perfection, it will at least help them to get independent and do things by themselves.
- Prepare them emotionally to be back to school: Preparing children emotionally is a good idea as that would help them deal with their emotional stress of going back to school. As a parent you are in a better position to deal with your child’s anxieties and fears. So deal with them accordingly. Being honest with your children is very important. It is children’s natural habit of telling everything to parents. So ask them about their fears, listen to them carefully and assure them that everything will be fine.
Going back to school can be a sad or happy experience for your child. By preparing in advance, and allaying any fears they may have, you can make this event a memorable one for your child.
All the best!!