Off to School!
If you have a child starting school in September, you are probably experiencing a mix of anticipation and anxiety. This can be a more difficult time for the parents than the children. This is the first time for some that they have left their child with someone else for an extended time. Even for parents whose children have been in daycare, it can still be stressful as they try to figure out new schedules, new expectations etc.
Here are a few tips for helping your child succeed in school:
Make sure your child starts his or her day with breakfast. School requires a lot of energy and breakfast is a good way to ensure that your child will be better able to cope with the demands of a busy morning; it feels like a long time ntil snack if you are hungry.
Ensure a regular bedtime routine. 4 and 5 your old children continue to require lots of sleep; many need as much as 10-12 hours per night. Without enough sleep it can be difficult for a child to concentrate, he/she may be more easily frustrated and/or may simply lack the energy to participate fully in the classroom.
Encourage your child to have small and simple responsibilities at home. For example, feeding the cat or helping to put dishes in the dishwasher.
Encourage independence as much as possible. Encourage your child to dress independently, pick up their toys or follow simple directions with minimal assistance.
Have your child participate in preparing for school the next day. He/she can help to get his snack ready, choose clothing for the next day or make sure all her things are packed in the backpack.
Show an interest in your child’s work. Display artwork at home. Keep completed work in a special place. Look at the work with your child; as questions and make positive comments.
Read to and with your child on a regular basis. Read material your child is interested in. If he/she likes comics, use that. It’s all about exposure to words and ideas.
Show an interest in your child’s day. Discuss things that happened at school that day; both the positive and the negative. Ask questions which require more than a yes or no answer; asking about specific times during the day will usually elicit more of a response than what did you do in school today.
Take some time to play with your child. You will be able to model and encourage social skills such as turn taking; sharing and conversation.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child, what is happening at school or classroom work-make an appointment and talk to your child’s teacher.
This is an exciting time for both you and your child. It is only one of many beginnings that you will have with your child over the years. Take time to enjoy these special milestones as they will become special memories in the future.
Getting Ready for School is Fun! is a FREE downloadable list of simple, easy, and fun ways to engage children in activities that prepare them for the upcoming school year.