The earlier your child’s school day approaches, the more different you and he will feel. You will be happy to know that he is old enough to go to school, but you will also wonder if he will adapt to this change in routine.
Adapt to many changes
Name your child’s emotions, especially if they are positive. This will allow him to see that the return to kindergarten is a happy passage. However, if he has always stayed with you, your child may feel a little worried about going to school.
Research has shown that the transition to school has an influence on the future level of school motivation and perseverance.
Whether or not your child attended a daycare service, they will have to adapt to many changes when they enter kindergarten :
- Anew environment;
- A new group of children, often more numerous than the daycare;
- New rules of life and learning;
- A teaching staff with whom he must create links.
All of these changes, experienced at the same time, can be difficult and stressful for your child. Getting used to this new environment will probably not be alone.
Kindergarten transition activities
In order for the transition from daycare or home to school to go smoothly, it needs to be prepared and progressive.
For this reason, the school your child will be attending probably offers a transition to kindergarten: class visit, school activities for prospective kindergarten students, meeting with the teacher, presentation of the daycare service etc.
Inform yourself, as these activities are important. They allow your child to become familiar with this new environment and imagine with more realism back to school.
If the school has a playground, you may even want to spend some time with your child and let them play so that they get used to the area.
A portrait of the child for the teacher
Some daycare services use the La Passerelle guide to portray the child and communicate it to kindergarten teachers. In some areas, educators even meet with teachers.
The transmission of information on the child is however only with the permission of the parents. Find out about the transition to kindergarten practices at your child care center. These practices ensure a certain continuity between daycare and kindergarten.
Before school starts: what you can do to help your child
Here’s what you can do to help your child adapt:
- Start talking to your child about his / her upcoming school day as soon as he/she is enrolled in school. To be able to explain the activities of kindergarten and the running of the school, participate in parent meetings organized by the school.
- Help your child meet classmates. Find other children in the neighborhood who attend the same school. The meetings organized by the school are also good opportunities to identify parents of the daycare that your child attended or those who live near you. Feel free to invite neighborhood kids to play, to start making connections.
- Explain to your child the new routine so that he is ready for this step. For example, you can tell him that there will be no nap time at school and that he will go to pre-school and after-school care. Tell your child, however, that there will still be time to play since kindergarten learning is done through play. If someone else cares for you (eg babysitter, caregiver), he/she is good. to explain to her also the new routine which will begin at the beginning of the school year.
- Reassure your child that some things will stay the same. Everything will not change after school starts. Give him some examples: it will be dad again who will pick you up at the end of the day.
- Share his joy of becoming a “big”. Indeed, the first day of school is often perceived as the sign that one is “big”. Talk to him about what school inspires him. He may be comfortable with the idea of being “big” or, on the contrary, he feels a bit overwhelmed. Listen to him talk about his feelings and continue to tell him all the wonderful things happening at school.
- Involve it in the purchase of school materials. He could, for example, come with you to buy his school bag or pencils. It will be a good time to talk about his feelings about the back to school.
- Show your enthusiasm for the school. Talk about all the things he will do: meet new friends, do various artistic and fun activities and, of course, learn new things.
- Talk about your own memories of school, how you felt when you first went there. If your child has older siblings, also ask them to share their memories.
Family, daycare, and school should ideally work together to help the child be ready for school.
For the first day
- Remind your child that you are coming back. Tell him who will pick him up at the end of class. An anxious child may want to know when exactly this will happen. Find an element in the routine that will serve as a clue. For example, tell him: “When you have arranged the class and you hear the bell, then you will know it’s time to go home. We will come for you. “
- Prepare together. Have him take part in the preparations for the start of the school year, for example by choosing together his clothes and snacks for the day and preparing his school bag. By doing so, you make him understand that it is an extraordinary day that concerns him to the highest degree.
- Give your child a place where he can show his work. You can decorate this place together, even before the start of classes (bulletin board, bedroom door).
For the transition to kindergarten is smooth, several schools choose to make a gradual return. Graduation patterns vary from school to school.
The first day of school, the child sometimes spends an hour or two in his class. In some schools, the group of students is divided into two or even four. Each group then comes to school at different times. This ensures that your child can go to school every other day or only for half days.
In some schools, the gradual re-entry lasts several days, while in others it lasts only one day. In any case, it allows the teacher and students to tame each other.
This situation may make it more difficult for you to schedule a schedule during this time. Some schools are no longer returning to school for this reason, but many still consider it necessary.
Some schools provide babysitting for kindergarten children during gradual school year, but this is not always the case. So you may have to take leave, ask for help around you or find a babysitter for a few days.
It is therefore important to find out about the schedule for your child’s first two weeks of school. This will allow you to organize yourself.
- Back to school is a big change in your child’s life.
- Some children are a little anxious or stressed, that’s normal.
- Help him get ready by visiting the school and often talking back to kindergarten.
- Tell your child how his new days will be, but reassure him by reminding him of what will not change.