It’s a big moment for the whole family. Your child is looking at the prospect of starting their school life properly. This means that they’re going to be spending a lot more of their time early and, while it might start off light enough, they’re going to have the responsibility of succeeding in their education. Practically, emotionally, and realistically, it is going to be a big change and some children can find the transition to school stressful, difficult, and even scary.
As such, you can be there to help them manage that transition as best as possible.
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We’ve got a few ideas to ease that transition as much as possible:
Ready them for the world of education
Parents should always take steps to help their children begin to learn before they reach school. Whether this is reading to them at home, trying to teach them basic numeracy skills (such as counting and being able to identify numbers), or practising writing. Choosing a preschool for your child can help them get an advantage in adjusting to the environment as well if you have the opportunity to do that. Going to school should never be the first educational experience that a child has.
Get them used to a schedule before their transition to school
One of the biggest changes in the daily life of your child, when it comes to school, is that things are about to get a lot more scheduled. They’re going to have to be at school at a certain time, which means having a set time to wake up and a morning routine, as well as a more rigid bedtime. Similarly, they’re going to have to set aside time and space to do their homework when they get home. You should help them manage all of these needs. However, it can benefit them if you start maintaining a schedule before school begins so that, when they do start, it’s a little easier to just naturally slip into things. Why not check out our toddler schedule?
Help them feel more confident
Children can be more resilient than we think. In many cases, it’s the parents who feel nervous or worried about how they get on at school, only to find out that they are trucking along just fine. However, that said, there are children who feel a little uneasy when surrounded by so many new people, have trouble making friends, and want to avoid attention. Helping to make your child resilient and confident is all about building them up. You can give them practice by going to more group events for children with them, but also you should encourage them with your words, help them be less afraid of being amongst many people and especially when communicating with their teacher. Confidence starts with the home, so make sure that you’re doing what you can to build it before their transition to school.
Be mindful of their mental health
Of course, sometimes the difficulties that children can experience in school go well beyond simply feeling a little nervous. If you are worried that your child is not adapting and that, more seriously, it’s starting to take a toll on their emotional health, you should look at ways to help support them. Mental health in early childhood can be a tricky subject since children develop so quickly and it can be difficult to tell what is a phase and what requires more attention. Be attentive, talk to them, ask them about their day, and make open communication a priority. Don’t be afraid to talk to a counsellor alongside them if you think that they are dealing with stress, depression, or anxiety. These issues can affect people at any age, but often parents have a blind spot when it comes to their children, not wanting to believe that they could be experiencing such emotional anguish.
Build their social life with them
For a lot of children, especially those who don’t live alongside others, school is going to be one of the biggest social challenges of their life, not just an academic one. To that end, you should look at how you can help them thrive in a social environment. Experience really is the best teacher here. You should look at the prospect of arranging playdates, both one-on-one and with groups of children and parents. Anyone can have a little difficulty making friends for the first time, but the more used to it they are, the more likely they are to do it quite naturally when in school.
With the tips above, hopefully, you can help your child make the transition to school life much more easily. It’s okay to hit some speed bumps on the way, so long as you can find a way to navigate them.
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