Dani is an avid education writer with an emphasis on early childhood education and alternative education methods.
Parents play a vital role in prepping their child for elementary school and easing the transition. As daunting as this can be, the first day of school can go a lot smoother with a few simple tips.
1. Take A Tour
Visit the campus grounds before school starts. Getting used to the school's layout can greatly ease your child's anxiety and prepare them for the first day. Let them know where the bathrooms are, where they are going to eat lunch, and the drop off/pick up station. While your school will more than likely cover this again, it can help to hear it from a friendly face. Make sure they get a chance to ask plenty of questions and do your best to find their answers.
2. Let Them Talk
Talk to teachers and other staff and encourage your child to ask questions. Getting acquainted with your child's instructors can warm them up to them much faster because they recognize their teacher as someone their guardian trusts. It can be tempting as a parent to try to speak for your child, but if you can, let them introduce themselves to their teacher and a few classmates.
3. Give Them Plenty of Information
Have their schedule and map of the school printed out so they can be familiar with it. Although it's likely your child won't have to move about very much in the first few years of school, highlighting their classroom, lunchroom, front office, and other important places will help them find their way around the first day, and help any confused teachers lead them in the right direction. While it's likely your little student won't be able to tell time just yet, letting them know what their activities are and when they'll be doing them helps ease into the first day.
4. Learn and Make Goals
Discuss their learning goals with your child's teacher on open house (or whatever equivalent your school of choice has.) After meeting the staff on the first day, be sure to discuss what the curriculum will be for the school year so you know what to expect in your child's learning. Good examples of questions to ask include:
- How often and when will I be receiving report cards or progress reports?
- What will my child be learning this year and how can I help them?
- Will I be receiving a weekly newsletter and/or agenda to read over and sign?
- What is the best way to contact you if my child needs help?
5. Get Excited
Be enthusiastic about the first day! Having their parent or guardian excited about this milestone in their life can help your child me willing to go to school. Be sure to mention all the new friends they'll make, and all the fun and interesting things they'll learn!
© 2017 Dani Merrier