Getting Them Ready For Their First Day Of School

by Jenni Evans

The end of summer means it’s time to get ready for school. For some, this will be one of their first experiences away from home and family. There are things parents can do to ease the transition.

 Get ready…

    1. Visit the school/classroom in advance. Some schools have open houses or play days prior to the first day of school that give your child the chance to see his classroom, meet his teacher and find out where important things are. If there is no open house, call to schedule an appointment to meet the teacher and look around.


2. Before school starts, but not too much before (about two weeks), talk about what she might do there. Read books with your child about starting school. Be positive about school, the curriculum and activities, and teachers. But…


3. Don’t overdo it when anticipating school activities. Be matter of fact. Children are often angry or disappointed if their experience doesn’t meet the expectations promised by parents.


4. If you are worried about separation issues, check out the school’s policies. Can he  bring a “lovey” or a picture from home? Will a teacher give him some one-on-one attention?  Have a plan for how you will handle goodbyes and stick to it.


Get set…

    1. Remind your child that the teacher will tell her the rules and routines; she can always ask about anything she needs to know or forgets.


2. Send your child in comfortable clothing and shoes. Consider the weather, play activities, and self-help ability when choosing outfits.


3. Set your child up for success by making sure she has had enough sleep and a good breakfast. Make sure she has everything she will need—school supplies, cubby clothes, snacks, etc.



    1. Let him know you will want to hear what he thinks about school and assure him he will get to know other children. Don’t ask too many questions at first, just listen and nod.


2. Pick your child up at the same spot each day. Bring an easy to eat snack with you for the car ride home if your child might be hungry.


3. Give your child unstructured playtime at home. Now that she spends more time in a structured environment, she should have more free time at home.


4. Get to know your child’s teacher. Get involved in some way with the school. Your relationship with the school and your confidence in the teacher shows your child you think it’s a good and safe place.


5. Don’t be surprised if your child is exhausted for the first few days. A good school curriculum may keep your child busier than she has been.




Join the Parenting Center for Preparing to Start School on Wednesday, July 24th at 9:30 am

To register, or to talk more about separation, infant and toddler care, school adjustment, or other parenting concerns, call 504.896.9591. To gather information about area Kindergarten and Elementary School options, attend their Annual School Fair in October.

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