While we’re just a few days away of officially starting the school I thought I’d share some tips for those parents who are doing big school for the first time this year.
I must admit the jump from Grade R / Crèche to big school was quite an emotional jump for Danny, and although he handled it well he still needed to be prepped beforehand. You can read previous posts HERE and HERE
Here’s what we did to ensure the transition to big school was a happy one.
Start the conversation days before the first day, however if you haven’t done this yet then start with the day before. What I found with Dan (definitely gets this from me) is that he felt more comfortable knowing exactly what would happen on the first day, routine of the class was important.
So we talked through the day, from waking up to getting ready for school including what he’d be having for breakfast till home time.
Making friends could be a daunting task for anyone, some kids are just natural social butterflies while others need a bit more guidance.
We found that discussing this with him prior meant that he would understand that there may or may not be kids he knows but it was important to not go into his shell. Simply put we encouraged Dan to greet every little boy or girl in his class and introduce himself, he knew that as nervous as he was there were others just as nervous about starting. Smile and greet as simple as it may be just helped relieve anxiety and soon he was talking and making new friends. Big relief for this Mommy!
Whether your child will be fetched after school by a lift club, yourself or attend after school facilities – if you can – make sure a familiar face fetches them on day 1.
When we arrived at school on day one with the other hundreds of kids Dan and I picked a spot that I would wait for him after his first day. I ensured that while he would be walking down the passage towards the exit doors he’d see me. Side note, try and get to the school atleast 30min before the bell goes, just to avoid any rush / parking problems / traffic.
The conversation went along the lines of “This is where Mommy will wait for you, this is our spot and I cannot wait to hear everything about your first day.”
I knew that midday at break time he may be feeling a little low and missing us. Well that’s what I thought, turns out he had such a great first day that he didn’t miss me at all.
Anyway I decided to write a little note and put it in his lunchbox, just in case he needed a pick me up.
“Hi …. I hope you’re having a great first day at school. Remember we’re so proud of you! Don’t forget to eat your lunch. Can’t wait to hear all about your day. Love you, Mom & Dad”
Don’t forget to take a picture! We started this tradition when Dan started Grade R, we take a morning picture looking all spiffy in their uniform and send it to the family, as well as a picture when we fetch them.
First day of school with the date
I survived the first day of Grade ….
As much as I’d love to walk Danny into the school grounds this year he has told me that he no longer needs this, so it’s official – drop and go from here on out!
To all the parents and kids starting school this year, goodluck and don’t forget to have FUN!