Lots of brand new shiny 5 year olds are starting school for the first time this year. Having a child start at school is a big thing for parents and for the child. Here are some tips and tricks to help with the transition.
1. The wonders of velcro. - Frustration can set in quickly when kids are rushed. Putting on shoes is just one of those times that teachers can rush children. So encourage independence with velcro shoes. Learning to tie shoelaces is an important skill but it can wait a few months until your child has settled into the school routines a little more.
2. Practice friendship starters - Role play with your child how to join games that kids are already playing. Sentences like “ That looks like fun, can I join in?” or “I want to play hide and seek, do you want to play with me?” are more helpful than “Can I play?” By teaching them a formula that they can adapt, these sentences can aid your child when they are looking for others to play with.
3. Arrive early – Sometimes what children are playing for the day is decided before the school bell goes in the morning. If your child is finding making friends or having something to do at school difficult, arriving early to school could help your child to be included.
4. Tiredness meltdowns – Being at school all day and all week is just plain tiring and loading kids up with car rides and extra classes can be taxing for all involved. Try taking a term off extra curricular activities so that your child can adjust to their new routine.
5.Rotate the reading - Learning to read is a key skill to practice at home when starting school. If your child is exhausted at the end of the day, try reading in the morning. Or maybe after some down time or mix it up by suggesting they read to a soft toy, sibling or pet while keeping an ear out.
6. Keep the lunch and the lunchbox manageable – It's always exciting to get a new lunchbox for the start of the school year but check your little one can open it by themselves. Normally lunch eating and morning tea is around ten minutes long, so food has to be easy to open and bitesize. Peel the citrus and pre snip the packets corners to help your child out.
7. The book bag is King – Many schools send home a book/poem every night in a book bag. It is also a place of communication between home and school. Create a habit returning the book bag back to the school bag after use and save yourself the drama of arriving to school without it.
8. Sunday night – Try and get your child into bed earlier on Sunday night. There is bound to be comments from the teacher if your child is yawning their head off on the mat on Monday at 9 am.
Enjoy the milestone and don't forget to take the plenty of photos of the first day. Those uniforms will never be that sparkly again!