Lots of children can't wait to start school, but even for the most confident of four year olds, it can be a bit daunting. Here are some of our ideas to help your child through the first day.
- Be positive. Your approach to your child's first day will guide their feelings.
- Hopefully you’ll have visited the school before your child's first day. Talk about their new classroom, their teacher and things like where they leave their coat and lunchbox etc.
- Talk about the routine of the day... you could even draw a visual timetable together (pictures of the sequence of things that will happen in the day). This helps your child make sense of their day.
- At home, point out the structure and routines in a day - "Let’s have our lunch now, this is the time you’d be having your lunch as school too.”
- Practise dressing and fastening shoes (go for velcro shoes, if possible), but don't worry if this proves too difficult, reception class teachers are used to helping.
- Help independence by practising social skills, such as taking turns, making choices and following directions.
- Help your child to recognise his name - they may be able to recognise the first letter or even the whole word.
- Get uniform ready and laid out ready for the morning and make sure all school bags are ready.
- About a week before the first day, start getting into the routine of getting up early, getting dressed & having breakfast. It’s very unsettling for children if they are woken at the last minute and deposited at school, with breakfast on the go.
- Teachers are very familiar with children who are worried in their first few weeks of 'big' school and are well equipped to deal with fears and tears.
- If you’ve got any concerns, don’t be afraid to go in to school – you’re not a paranoid parent!
- Finally … don’t forget to get the camera charged and ready to record the big day.
Following reports in the news last week about children starting school without the skills they need to learn, we thought you might be interested to see a list of the type of skills that some children lack by the time they start reception.
The first point is "sitting still and listening" - this is one of the key skills we encourage in every Talking Tots class, as we help to prepare your little one for school
Find a class near you here