The Summer and its infamous six week holiday came and went in a whirlwind, and we are now in the early stages of an autumnal September. With the end of Summer and the beginning of September, comes a monumental stage in many parents and children’s lives like – the first day of school. It can be, at times, every bit as nerve-wracking and difficult for you as it is for them, so helping them to settle into their new school routine can be a bit of a daunting time for all involved. If you’re struggling with the early days of school, here are some top tips on settling into Primary School.
Go into the School Before their Start Date
If you were to sell your house fast and move to a completely new area – what’s the first thing you’d do before you moved there? You’d go to the area, explore, and get an idea of what it’s like and where things are.
When you think about it like that, starting school is almost as big a transition, especially for a child. The fact is they’re going to spend, what feels like to them, the vast majority of their days at school, so the more familiar they are with it the better. If you can, before your child’s first day, make sure that you visit the school together and get to have a look round.
Most schools are great with this, as they introduce children gradually with methods such as taster days and the like, but even if your child has nerves leading up to the big day after this, have a trial school run. This way, at the very least they’re likely to get used to what’s around the school, and where it is in relation to their home. This alone will help them to feel safer and more comfortable with such a big change when settling into Primary School.
Get to Know their Teacher
If you can, get to know their form teacher for the year a little better. The fact is, other than you, this person will be one of the largest influences over your child in their early development, so the better you know them and feel comfortable with them, the easier the school transition will be for you as a parent too.
Getting to know you helps them to get to know your child better too. By doing this and recognising your child’s individual personality, they’re far more likely to help with any problems that could arise in the future, whether that be with bullying or classwork. Although we all hope that that won’t happen as parents, the school will be a smooth ride for our respective children; it’s not always the case. It is the school’s responsibility to ensure the safeguarding of all children in their care; you can familiarise yourself with what this means via CBAT.
Having an adult who you trust, who knows your child and what they’re like can give you that extra bit of reassurance, and can provide your child with a teacher they know they can go to for help and guidance.
Encourage Your Child to Socialise
Make life easier for your little one, and encourage them to socialise and make friends from the outset. Of course, you as a parent can’t control everything that happens in the playground, but you can encourage your child to be sociable and to invite everyone to play together.
However, there are ways you can actually help your child to socialise. It might be that you make friends with some of the other parents of children in your child’s class, or at the very least there might be some parents there you already know. Organise a playdate! You can’t force your child to be friends with the children of your friends, of course, you need to let them find their own path, but in the early days, this is a great way of helping them to socialise and make new friends.
Establish a Routine
Last but certainly not least, establishing a routine is integral to ensuring that your child’s early school days are easier for both of you.
Like with all routines, it can take a while to get in the swing of things, but establishing a routine will help your child to feel safer amidst all of the change. Whether that be a routine at bedtime, homework time, mornings, or even walking to school – it all contributes to helping both you and your little one settle into this new period of your lives.