Top tips for your child’s first day at school

The first day of school is one that you and your child have possibly been looking forward to for a long time. But starting school isn’t always as easy as it may seem, so here are some top tips from teachers to help you and your child make a happy and memorable start to school.

Ease into the day

Everyone will probably be feeling a little nervous on the first day of school. A healthy breakfast is very important for young learners, and so even if your son or daughter has butterflies in their tummy, make sure they have something to eat before they go to school.

If you or your child are feeling anxious, that’s okay!

Try to leave with enough time to take those first day of school photos and for a short reassuring goodbye before the bell rings.

Practise Calming Activities

Children mirror what they see.

In the days before school begins, and most especially on the first day of school, it’s important to model calm and appropriate behaviour.

Whether your child struggles with winding down or is exhausted by the end of the day, down time is essential for your school starter.

Everyone calms down differently and that’s okay!

Most importantly, support your child’s calming method without judgement, as long as it’s safe and appropriate.

Having downtime after school is an important school readiness skill, because it teaches children how to emotionally transition from one environment to another.

Practising calming activities before entering primary school strengthens your child’s emotional wellness and builds confidence.

After school down time for kids

At the end of Day One

Your child will have had so many new experiences on their first day of school that they may not know where to start when you ask that seemingly simple question’ So, how was it?’

During the car ride home or at dinner at the end of the day, keep questions simple and specific so that you don’t overwhelm your child.

Here are a few ‘end of school day’ questions that often work well:

1. Did you play with any friends today?

2. What book did you read today?

3. Your teacher told me you painted pictures today, what did you paint? 

Before school begins

For some children, entering a school year is emotionally difficult and they may need support to prepare for new beginnings.

Remember, once school begins, your child will have commitments 5 days a week.

You’re likely to find that your son or daughter will be tired at the end of the day, and so if you suspect that your child might need a little help to keep up with his or her peers, the period before school is the best time to seek advice.

Check with your child’s early childhood educators to find out if they have any concerns about your child’s ability to process information, speak clearly, manage fine motor tasks or cope with social and emotional challenges.

A transition to school program such as Kids First’s 5 week Ready Set School program, which will give your child access to speech pathologists, occupational therapists and teachers may be just what your child needs to start school with confidence.

Concerned about your child’s school readiness?

Sonja Walker - Author - SCHOOL READY: A practical and supportive guide for parents with sensitive kids

If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s school readiness, connect with experienced healthcare professionals at Kids First to receive a holistic, tailored, and friendly approach to nurture your child’s growth and development. Call us on 9938 5419 to discuss your child’s needs.

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