As the school holidays come to an end, you’re either preparing your child to start another school year, or, they might be starting school for the very first time.
Whatever the case might be, practising the three R’s to get them ready and prepared helps them to feel more confident and less nervous as the day approaches. It also gets them out of home-mode and into school-mode, ready to start the year.
Routines. Children cope better with regular, consistent routine (e.g. regular times for bed and waking, learning and play).
Tips to help set routines:
- Put their schedule into place before they start school to get them used to any changes before they start
- Establish healthy sleeping routines. The amount of sleep your child needs changes as they get older. A 4-year-old needs about 11 hours a night.
- Practice the things your child will need to do to get ready for school (e.g. putting things in their bag, remembering to take a hat).
Rehearsals. Practice basic tasks your child will do at school to build their confidence.
Tips to rehearse:
- Drive by or practice the walk to school to show your child where the school is and talk about how they will get there.
- Practice putting their socks and shoes on and teach them to tie laces. (Use shoes with Velcro fasteners until your child can manage laces).
- Encourage your child to do basic things on their own. Getting dressed, going to the toilet, washing hands.
Reassurance. Show your child they are safe, secure and loved.
Tips to provide reassurance:
- Let your child know that school is safe, and their teachers will take care of them at school.
- Talk about drop off and pick up to reassure them that you (or a family member) will be there.
- Encourage your child to ask questions so you can assess if they have any worries and address them.