Countdown to the start of the new academic year - How to get your child ready for school for the first time
With only three weeks to go, it's time to start thinking about school. Whether this is the first time your child is going to a school, or whether they are seasoned nursery goers, you will benefit from planning now to make that first week of school easier.
THREE WEEKS BEFORE
Talk about it
If you haven't done so already, get them used to the idea of school by discussing it with them. The simplest way to do this is to read books about this topic. Topsy and Tim, Harry and the Dinosaurs and the Little Rabbit all have books about going to school for the first time. Take the time to ask them what they think and reassure them about any fears they may have.
Practice their self help skills
You can make a game out of practicing basic skills such as taking off and putting on shoes, putting on a backpack, and going to the toilet by themselves.
As your child will be bringing lunch, why not have a practice picnic together? Ask your child to 'serve' the food to ensure they know how to open and close lunch boxes.
(As a little tip, you may wish to give them their favorite foods on day one - as long as they are nut-free!)
TWO WEEKS BEFORE
Start the routines.
If your child is used to waking up at a later time then you need to get them used to going to bed at "school bedtime" and waking up early. Practice waking them up, greeting them fed, brushed and dressed at the same time you would for school. (It's also great practice for you!)
You can use pretend play to get them used to the idea of a school routine. Take turns being the teacher and the student. Get them to imagine what it's like being at school by doing different activities which involve sitting still for 10-15 minutes at a time - threading pasta to make a bracelet, drawing and colouring or
Go shopping for uniforms
It's always a good idea not to leave these till the last minute. Make sure you visit the uniform shop to get your child's uniform, remembering that you will need one spare set to be placed in their school bag in case of accidents. Even if you know their size, taking the child with you is a good way to get them involved and excited about school. At the uniform shop, you can point out other children who are going to the same school.
ONE WEEK BEFORE
Your child will need a backpack, lunch boxes (cool box optional), a water bottle and possibly other items such as swimwear, etc. Why not give your child one item a day, in the run up to school? Please don't forget to label each item with your child's name in permanent marker so that it can find its way back to you if misplaced.
Remember: Label it, don't lose it.
Attend the orientation
The orientation is a chance for both new students as well as new parents to meet the teacher and ask questions about the first day or week. Not sure about drop off and pick up procedures? Have any last minute queries about school? Need to tell the school nurse about any special medication? Now is your chance.
And finally, please don't forget to do the paperwork!
You may want to stay for the first 15 minutes to watch your child settle in and are welcome to do so.
Even though you may be tempted to sneak off while your child is distracted, make a point of saying goodbye. Invent a goodbye ritual - for example, give your child a kiss in his or her palm which they can "hold" on to all day. Or maybe stick to a simple "see you later, alligator -in a while, crocodile." Remember that children take their cues from you, the parent. Say goodbye with confidence, and in a matter of fact way, and they will learn to respond in kind.
Please remember that the timings for the first weeks of school are as follows:
PRE K SCHOOL TIMINGS:
Sunday 28th August to Thursday 1st September 7:45am to 10:00am
Sunday 4th September to Thursday 8th September 7:45am to 12noon
Sunday 11th September onwards Option 1: 7:45am to 12:30pm Option 2: 7:45am to 2:00pm
K1 SCHOOL TIMINGS:
Sunday 28th August to Thursday 1st September 7:45am to 12noon
Sunday 4th September to Tuesday 8th September 7:45am to 1:00pm
Sunday 11th September onwards 7:45am to 2:00pm
K2 SCHOOL TIMINGS:
Sunday 28th August to Thursday 1st September 7:45am to 1:00pm
Sunday 4th September onwards 7:45am to 2:30pm