Starting a School
Rasmussen, © 2004, All rights reserved.
Starting school is a high point in the life of children and parents. At school, a child faces his/her first challenges, successes and failures, which will train him/her for the life ahead. The transition from home to day care or pre-school is difficult for most children.
Following tips can make it easier for the child and parents to start school:
- When a child joins pre-school, he/she has to get along well with other children or at least be tolerant of them. You can plan more social gatherings so that the child gets used to to the idea of sharing, playing co-operatively and taking turns. This will help the child adjust easily in groups.
- Try to allay the anxiety and fears of a child joining school. Don't lead them to believe that school is one scary place where mom is not going to be around. Tell them interesting information about school and why they should join it. You can say that there will be lots of children of the same age, plenty of games and sports, picnics, projects and so on. The child's attitude towards school should be a balance of enthusiasm and eagerness.
- Make the child familiar to the school environment by visiting the school before it begins. If possible visit it during school hours so that your child doesn't feel isolated and also makes it easy for him/her to accept the fact that he/she has to go to school.
- Personal hygiene like wiping the nose and proper toilet training should be given. Make your child wear simple and easy to handle clothes and shoes. Letting them handle such issues will boost their self-confidence.
- Teach your child his/her name, home address and phone number. This will reassure you that the child can contact you whenever needed.
- Read stories to your child for about 15 minutes everyday before he/she goes to school. This will help in relaxing the child. Moreover, reading aloud to the child will also enhance his/her listening skill as well as vocabulary.
- Label your child's clothes and other belongings so that they don't get exchanged with other children's belongings. Sending and extra pair of clothes can also come in handy if the child wets his/her pants or messes them up in craft or outdoor sessions.
- Talk to the principal/teacher of the school about lunchboxes, water/drink containers and other necessary personal items. Prepare a list so that things don't become chaotic on the first day of school.
Copyright 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article in whole or in part without written or verbal permission is strictly prohibited. For information about reprinting this article, contact the copyright owner: Vanessa Rasmussen, Ph.D, Starting a Day Care Center, http://www.startingadaycarecenter.com.