Guide to starting primary school - first day of school
Sometimes the first and most important step to starting primary school is getting your child excited about the new adventure they’re about to embark on. This usually means allocating time to sit down and talk to your child about what they can expect, answer any questions they may have and portray the excitement they should feel. As children often take your lead, ensure you’re demonstrating a positive attitude that allows them to feel secure about what’s coming up.
Along the way, you’ll discover tactics and efforts that will help your child transition into the primary school environment, but to get you started, we’ve put some handy tips together for kicking off the new school year.
Make time to rehearse in advance
A nifty idea that always helps prepare both parent and child for what’s needed on the big day is rehearsing what the morning will look like a few days before the term kicks off. For children catching public transport, riding or walking, run a few trips on these routes so they are familiar with their surroundings early on. Above all, take a stroll around the school to get to know all areas of the schoolyard.
Prepare lunches in advance
Plan your meals ahead of time so that you never have to deal with that ‘night-before panic’. Start packing your child’s meals into lunchboxes a week or so before term starts.
Help them unpack their lunchbox, showing them what they should eat at morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. This is also a great way to discover what your child will and won’t eat (perfect for avoiding that mouldy sandwich at the bottom of the bag, come the end of the week).
Check off all supplies
Schools will provide parents with a book and stationery list, but it never hurts to have plenty of extras hidden away in the cupboard, just in case things get lost – and they will. From HB pencils through to extra pens and glue sticks – bulk up on these essentials so there’s no rush to shops before school one day. They are also great for homework time after school!
Pro tip: Invest in quality, durable name labels that will outlast the school year. Those that can be ordered, printed and ironed on (or sewn on) are often the best choice, as they’re not likely to bleed or fade through general wear, tear and washing.
On the night before
While you’re tucking your child into bed, check off the following to make sure everything’s in place for the big day ahead:
- Set alarms, allowing plenty of time to avoid any rushing around;
- Lay all uniforms out neatly – including accessories such as shoes, socks and hats;
- Prepare lunches and snacks if you haven’t already;
- Have breakfast as ready as possible to go.
Starting this chapter is always likely to be an overwhelming experience, but preparing ahead of time is the key to a successful start. While some children may experience some initial challenges to the transition, remember consistency and support are vital. Be a part of their school experience and they’ll soon look forward to heading out the door each morning.