We only have 2 months until Elsa starts her first year at school and while she is excited and I am nervous, I feel like when it actually gets to taking the big step to starting she will begin to be nervous so I wanted to have some tips on helping your child settle in their first year old school ready for when we or other parents may need them.
I have written about planning our pre primary school bucket list for this summer but the those 6 weeks are going to go so quickly so it is good to be prepared for when they actually start school. I have been feeling nervous for this huge milestone ever since I applied for Elsa’s school place. She has definitely been more excited than nervous but it is such a huge step that I want to be prepared for if she does feel nervous or not ready at any point.
Here are some tips for helping your child settle in their first year of school which we will definitely be using!
- See if there is a Facebook group for the school (or class!) and see if any parents want to meet up for a play date over the summer. Makes a world of difference having familiar faces in the first few days especially. – That Little Outfit
- Visit the school as much as you can before they start to get familiar with it. – Anklebiters Adventures
- Don’t ‘over talk’ about it. Sometimes the more we talk about the changes and the excitement, the more anxiety can build up. Also, stay positive. If you have worries and concerns don’t say them in front of the child as they’ll assume there’s something to be worried about. – Mummy Est.2014
- If you walk to school, take the route you’ll be doing a few times over the summer holidays, so they can familiarise themselves with it (this will also help you to see how long it takes, so you know when the time comes in September!) – Emily and Indiana
- My youngest had quite a bit of separation anxiety and would cry at drop off. She worked out her own solution in the end, she told me that each morning she would put a picture of me in her head and then she could look at it any time she wanted. – Me, Them and the Others
- Try not to pressure them to talk to you about their day, quite often you’ll ask what they’ve been doing when you pick them up and they say ‘Nothing’! If you just let it go you’ll probably find they end up talking to you more about it later on anyway and you can chat things through when they’re ready. – Mama in Progress
- Really talk about the school routine. Include what will happen at home in the day, what will happen at school and what will happen at the end. Go into lots of detail so it opens up the opportunity for questions and there are little to no surprises when they get there. Also, get them to wear their uniform including shoes a few times before they start so they are comfortable. – Imprefected Mummy
- Don’t make a massive deal of it! Kids are really resilient and adapt quickly too so if you make a big fuss or show anxiety they will pick up on it! Make it fun by letting them help choose their shoes, practice trying on their uniform, picking name labels etc! – Back With A Bump
- Keep things positive. Kids can pick up on your anxiety a mile off. Smile as they go. – My Silly Mummy
- Take the pressure off and don’t ask too many questions. You’ll find they say they did nothing all day no matter how many times you ask. – Coffee and Cwtches
- Send them to nursery beforehand, if not fulltime, then at least for a couple of full days a week. They’ll meet people who might go to the school with them, and get used to being independent and eating away from you. If they’re in full time,they’ll be less tired on starting school because it might even be less hours than they’re used to. – Bubbablue and Me
- I homeschooled all my children before I enrolled them in real schools. taught them phonics, we do crafts, etc. I did that just to let them have a feel of being in a classroom. When they go to a big school, I always tell them that Mommy will just be outside waiting for them, planning what fun activities to do after school. – My Parenting Journey
Mum in the moment also has a great blog post about tips to help anxious children when they go back to school!