The first day of school can be challenging for students at any age. Here are the top tips for preparing your child for the first day of school.
Pre-K – Kindergarten
- Make sure your children have had some supervised time away from you before they enter school. This may be a day care or preschool experience or with friends or relatives. Letting your children occasionally stay overnight away from home develops more independence among young children.
- Talk to your child about going to school. Tell them about positive experiences you remember from your first days of school. Talk to them about what they'll learn in school.
- Take your child to school. Let him visit and play in the yard while you are there. Let him get acquainted with the other children, the staff, the toys, and the layout of the building.
- Talk with him about what the first day will probably be like. Tell him about fun with other children, with books and puzzles, with the big blocks, with the computers, with the science activities, on the playground and snack or lunch breaks.
- Make your child aware that every child goes to school and that schools are wonderful places to learn. It is your child's job to be a student, just like it is your job to go to work. Talk to your child about friends who will also be at school.
If your child is entering school at first grade or beyond:
- Most students are eager to come to school to meet their teachers, to see their friends and to meet new friends. They like getting new school supplies and look forward to starting each new school year.
- You should continue to reinforce positive feelings about school by talking with your child about learning and achievement. Model this advice by showing them that you are still learning, too.
- Discuss going back to school with them. Support your child's academic interests and encourage him, when in middle and high school, to get involved in extracurricular activities at the school.
- You may think that students beyond Kindergarten will not have first day anxieties. Sometimes older students experience problems with coming to school. When this happens with children who are beyond first grade, there may be a reason for this behavior that goes beyond what is happening in the school.
- These students need to be assured that their parents will be there for them and that teachers can easily get in touch with parents. Each child responds differently. School personnel try to get these children involved as quickly as possible in interesting activities to take their minds off their worries. If the problem is not solved with the school and home working together, counseling may be advised.