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It’s hard to believe that another school year is just around the corner! If you have a preschooler who will be starting school for the first time, you may be feeling a mix of excitement and apprehension. After all, starting school is a significant milestone! Here are a few tips to help your child (and you) transition smoothly into the new school year.

Talk to your child about starting school

First, start talking about school in a positive way. For example, share your own memories of your favourite teachers and friends, and talk about all of the fun things your child will get to do at school. It can also be helpful to visit the school ahead of time and meet the teacher. This will help your child feel more comfortable on the first day of school.

Help them get used to the idea of being away from you.

Starting school can be a big adjustment if your child has never been in daycare or spent time away from you. To help them get used to being away from you, start by gradually increasing the amount of time they spend away from home. If possible, enrol them in a playgroup or daycare for a few days or weeks before school starts. This will help them get used to being away from you and give them a chance to socialise with other kids their age.

It’s also essential to help your child develop a sense of independence. Encourage them to practice putting on their own backpack and jacket, and remind them that they can always ask for help if they need it.

Prepare them for new experiences and challenges.

Starting school is a new experience for everyone, and it’s normal for your child to feel both excited and nervous. Help them prepare for new experiences by talking about what to expect. For example, if your child is worried about making friends, talk about how they can meet new friends by joining a club or playing sports. If they’re concerned about being bullied, remind them that there are adults at school who can help.

Make sure they have all the supplies they need.

The night before school starts, help your child pack their backpack with all the supplies they’ll need. Make sure they have a few healthy snacks, a water bottle, a change of clothes and any other items on the school supply list. If possible, label everything with your child’s name to avoid lost belongings.

Encourage them and give them lots of support.

Let them know that you’re available to answer any questions they have, and remind them that you’ll be there to pick them up after school. Most importantly, express your confidence in their ability to succeed. They may be feeling a bit scared or unsure, but they can do it! With your support, they’ll be ready to take on the world.

Spend time with them before they start school.

Before your preschooler heads off to school, you’ll want to make sure that you spend some quality time together. This is a special time in your child’s life, and it’s important to create memories that you can both treasure. There are countless ways to spend quality time together, but here are a few of our favourites. First, take a trip down memory lane and look through old photo albums together. You can also cook together, play games, or go on nature walks. Whatever you do, make sure you’re present and engaged with your child. These moments will be gone before you know it, so savour them.

Starting school is a big adjustment for kids and parents alike. It can be a time of excitement and apprehension as your child adjusts to a new environment and learns new things. But with a little bit of preparation, it can be a smooth transition for everyone involved! Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to a successful school year.

Please contact me to share any other tips for preparing preschoolers for starting school.