Each school year brings a new beginning for families. Whether you have a kindergartner heading off to school for the first time, or young children returning to classrooms in the fall, there are plenty of ways you can help prepare for elementary school.

Before School Begins

  • Introduce your child to school activities such as drawing and storytelling ahead of time.  
  • Make a plan to visit the school before their first day of school. Most schools allow parents and students to stop by and take a tour. Many even host schedule special events. Take advantage of this. What better way to calm any fears you or your child may have by visiting the place your little one will be spending a great deal of time?
  • Meet the teacher.
  • Practice school at home. “Playing school” in the weeks leading up to the first day can help them prepare for elementary school.
  • Start adjusting sleep schedules. Begin moving bedtime earlier well in advance.

Tips for Tear-Free Goodbyes

It’s hard to see your babies growing up and going to school. As much as you might prepare, that transition can be difficult for you and your child. Here are some tips on how to ease the separation anxiety.

  1. Reintroduce the teacher to your child. Make it clear that you trust the teacher and are comfortable letting them stay.
  2. Bring a friend from home. Ask the teacher if your child can bring something from home to keep in the cubby for comfort. Some possible options could be a stuffed animal, family picture, or special doll. Another idea is to cut a small square from a blanket for them to keep in their pocket. Keep in mind that these items may not come home in one piece. Don’t forget to check with school policy before sending anything.  
  3. Never sneak out. Say goodbye. As tempting as it may be, leaving without saying goodbye risks their trust in you. Let them know you will see them later.
  4. Make the drop-off quick. Once you’ve said goodbye, leave promptly. Just like a band-aid, the quicker you leave your child’s school, the easier the transition will be. The key is not to linger.
  5. Make goodbye easy and cheerful. Some parents wave from outside the classroom or make a goofy face on the way out.
  6.  Create a goodbye routine. Come up with something you can do every time you say your goodbyes such as rubbing noses and a hug.
  7. Consider a reward system. Have your child make a calendar. Every time he or she goes to class without a fuss, put a smiley face on the calendar. If they fill the week, they get a special treat.
  8. Learn the other kids’ names. When you can call out their classmate’s names, it makes the school seem much more familiar and safer.
  9. Get your child a watch. A watch will make them feel like a big girl or boy. Plus, he or she can look at it every so often to remind themselves that you’ll pick them up soon.
  10. Leave a lunch box note. Little notes stashed in their lunch box is a great way to let them know you’re thinking about them while they are at school.

Entering a new school for the first time can be an exciting adventure with a little planning and preparation. What are some ways you prepare your children for a new year? Comment and let us know.

Are you looking for a new home in Bentonville with excellent schools nearby? Scissortail is what you’re looking for. We have a close-knit community within walking distance of Bentonville Schools newly constructed elementary, Evening Star Elementary. Come and visit us and see why Scissortail should be your home.

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