It’s almost time to head back to school and for some of you, it will be your little one’s first day – either at primary or at high school. Here’s a few tips that can help.
1. Do a playground visit
If your school is open, see if you can head down to the school playground. Getting your kids familiar with the grounds can make the first day less daunting. Having the first slide down the slide and try of the monkey bars with you can be a huge confidence booster! For schools where this isn’t possible – you can often download maps and go through them with your child.
2. Develop a morning routine
Have a chat to your child about the changes coming and work together to create a morning routine. This can help to increase independence and reduce stress for all involved. Giving kids tasks helps build resilience and gives them a sense of mastery. Tasks such as making the bed, packing their bags, having breakfast, and cleaning their teeth when automated will help greatly. Some parents even make up charts of what the kids have to do – a laminated sheet with the tasks on it makes this easy – they just tick off as they go. For little ones – pictures can be used, (children often like to participate and draw the pictures themselves.)
3. “Wear” in that uniform
A comfortable kid is a happy kid. New School uniforms can be a bit stiff, so giving them an extra wash or two can make a difference. You can also cut off any itchy tags and spare buttons to make them feel more comfortable. Don’t forget to get the kids to wear in their school shoes – an hour or so for a couple of days will save the blisters!
4. Visual Cues
In this time of the internet, it’s easy to jump online and look at pictures of the school and see kids doing activities from there. Jump on the website, or Facebook page and show your child. Knowing where you are going, what you are doing, and what you will need can be more easily recalled if they see it! The first day can be overwhelming with new sights, sounds and people. This process takes a little of pressure away as they will recognize what they see as familiar.
5. Walk them in on the first day.
Although some kids may roll their eyes, walking in with your child on day 1, lets them know they are important to you and that you are a part of their care at school. Greet the class teacher, smile at their friends and go on your way. For little ones, this process may be a little longer, be guided by the teachers for what is best.
The bonus tip for high school students…
6. Colour Coding
Organisation can be extremely daunting for children headed into Year 7 and beyond. An easy way to help is to colour code each subject – i.e. blue for maths – all the equipment they need you make blue – textbook, folders, notebooks, protractor, calculator – you can cover them in blue contact or just use coloured blue dots so its quick for them to identity and find. Science could be red, English green and so on.