Tips for the First Days of School

Sending a child off to school is both exciting and frightening.

Cherylyn Feierabend
5-minute read
Episode #28

Hey there!  You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting. Today’s Topic: Starting School

Tips for The First Days of School

Sending a child off to school is both exciting and frightening for most parents. The anxiety we feel about our children going to school on their own could match, or possibly exceed, what they are actually feeling about the situation. Whe  it’s time to send your child to school, whether preschool or elementary, for the first time, there are a few things you can do in advance to help make this change in routine easier for everyone.

If you are enrolling your child in a private school, you’ll most likely meet the teacher and see the classroom in advance. You’ll have an opportunity to research these schools and choose the one that best fits your child’s needs. During this research, you’ll be given a chance to observe the classroom, the teacher and how your child reacts in the environment. When you are sending your child to a public preschool or elementary classroom, the school will assign your child’s classroom. It is very important for you to take your child to meet the teacher and spend some time in the classroom prior to the first day of school. The school should offer a “meet the teacher” day. Plan to spend some time in the classroom with your child. You will want to see how your child responds to the environment and how the teacher interacts with the students. This is a good time to talk to the teacher about any concerns or questions you may have. Regardless of your child’s age, I think it’s important to go to this event at the beginning of each year. You and your child should meet your child’s teacher before school starts. Knowing that your child is in good hands will help lessen your anxiety. Meeting the teacher and visiting the classroom in advance will also help ease your child’s anxiety on the first day of school.

If you’ve listened to this show before, you know that I am a big fan of schedules. Children of all ages function better if they know what to expect. When a child’s schedule has a sudden change, it could cause behavioral issues. When your child is preparing for the new school schedule, try to get him into the routine before school starts. If you know that he’ll be going to school every morning at eight o’clock, start scheduling morning activities at the same time. If you do this for several days prior to the first day of school, the only change in the routine will be the activity itself. The less change your child has to experience at once, the more easily he will be able to adapt. Having a daily routine of this nature will also help you. It will give you a practice run for the big day. You will know what time you need to get everyone up, fed, dressed and out of the house in order to be on time. If your child will only be going to school for a few days of the week, you should still try to stick to the routine on the days off. Most of us are accustomed to changes on the weekend, but for the school week, it’s good to stay on track.