Starting school can be a daunting and exciting experience for all involved. For those entering the school system for the first time you will no doubt have many questions. So to help you out our good friend Michelle Miles, former primary school teacher and mum of a 7 year old, shares her top tips for getting school ready!
In the week or two before school starts try getting back into a routine and get bed times back to what they will be during the school term. Also try eating at similar times to school, i.e. snack & lunch.
2. Practice with lunch boxes, drink bottles and school bags.
If your child hasn’t had experience with lunch boxes this is a good chance to help at home. Pack the lunch box in the morning with brain food (if your school does this it is usually fruit or vegetables that is eaten at the desk during the morning) snack and lunch. Check if your school has a ‘no wrapper/nude food’ policy too. If you survive the year without an upturned opened drink bottle or the contents of your child’s lunch box in the bottom of the school bag, go and buy a lotto ticket as you have the lucky touch
3. Don’t overhype or build unrealistic expectations
Don’t build school up, a very common anecdote after the first day is “and I didn’t even learn to read” or “it was fun, but I’m not going back” as so much emphasis is put on “The First Day” and “ You will learn to read!”
Some schools will do a 4 day week, or short days, for the first few weeks – this allows the kids some down time – which they will need and also many schools use this to have one on one time with your child to do literacy and maths assessment.
4. Don’t overschedule yourselves
First term will be exhausting for everyone, try and limit out of school activities as much as possible.
5. Talk positively about the teacher
In the weeks leading up also talk about your child’s new teacher – you could even write them a letter.
6. Meet up with other kids in their class
Talk about the friends they may have in their class and the new friends they will make. If possible organise a play date before school starts, it is as beneficial for the parents to have a natter as for the kids to have a play.
7. Label, label, label!
Don’t forget to name EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING. If it is not attached permanently to your child there is every chance it will be lost at some point. We have lost three polar fleece jackets (over 2 yrs) which were named not only on the tag, with an iron on name label and her name in huge letters with a silver texta on the inside of the jacket, too many drink bottles to count and a couple of hats.
If you need to cover books let your child choose the contact, if you don’t need to cover pop a little piece of coloured contact on the spine of the book, that way if there is a pile of books sitting there they will instantly recognise theirs.
8.Don’t stress about what they may know/not know
Don’t worry if they can’t read, write, spell etc, it will come. Most importantly, remember all children walked at different ages and it will be the same with their academic abilities.
Make sure you check you hand book or web page, for the answers to any questions. If you are still unsure give the school a ring.
Good luck and enjoy!
Ps. A glass of bubbles after drop off also helps xx