The very first day of school for your child can be nerve-wracking for both you and your little one. Even the most outgoing and brave child is most likely going to be hesitant to go somewhere new without you. However, at East Valley Christian School, we strive to create a learning community focused on Biblical principles and helping your child thrive at school. Our goal is to create faithful members of the Kingdom of God, as well as academically balanced students. In this blog, we’ll discuss the ways that you can make sure your little one is ready for their big day.
- Let them know as much as possible about the day.
Many parents neglect telling their children about the day and all that will go on. Rest assured that your child will understand when you outline the day for them. Let them know what their schedule will look like. Tell them what time school starts and ends every day, what they will do (generally) in their day, and what the day will look like. This is a great way to protect your child from the overwhelming newness of the day.
- Take them school supply shopping.
When you go school supply shopping, take them with you. A great way to get your child excited about their first day is to let them choose their school supplies, and join you on that shopping trip. Once they understand the concept of school, then you can take your child shopping and get them excited about their first day and getting to use the new supplies you buy.
- Visit the school before the big day.
If your school has a back to school night, go. Take your little one to familiarize them with the place that they’ll be spending a majority of their time. It makes the first day less overwhelming when they know the teacher, they know where their classroom is, and they know some of the other children. Not only does it help your child be prepared, but it helps you. You’ll meet the teacher, see the school and get all your questions answered.
- Set up a playdate.
If there’s a way to make sure your child has a friend in their class before the first day of school, do it. In this age of social media, there’s bound to be a Facebook group or some kind of online way to stay connected with other parents at the school. This is a great way to connect with parents of other kids in your child’s class and set up playdates before the first day. That way, your child will have a sense of comfort (aside from you) heading into the first day of school.
- Start a morning routine.
On top of all the other changes, your child has to deal with a brand new morning routine. This is often why the start of school day mornings are so chaotic. Why not start the routine earlier? About a week before the first day of school, begin getting your little one up earlier to start the day. Get them up and plan activities for around the time school will be. That way, when the first day comes around, they’ll be ready for the structure of a school day morning.
- Be there early for pickup.
For your little one, waiting for you to pick them up can be scary, and quite frankly, a quite scarring experience. Especially on the first day, your little one may be a bit sensitive due to all the change and stimulation. Be there early for them. Be there with open arms ready to hug them tightly. Avoid the tears and sadness, and be there right when the dismissal bell rings.
- Talk with them about their feelings.
Have an honest conversation with your child about how they’re feeling about their first day. Ask them about both the excitement and the concerns when it comes to starting school. Most likely, they will be nervous, so tears are totally normal. Point out the positives of starting school, and listen to their fears so that you can do your best to dispel them. Use the Bible! Read verses together about fear and encourage them that God will be with them in starting school. It’s also important to make sure that you make it clear that if something goes wrong at school, that you’re just a quick phone call away.
- Let them know how much you love them.
Make it clear how much you love them. Sometimes children are scared of their first day, but too nervous to admit it. Come up with a signal between the two of you that means, ‘I love you”. This could look like a hand squeeze, pinching a finger, anything. It’s a great way to reassure them that you love them, while allowing them to go start their day and avoid any potential embarrassment.
At East Valley Christian School, we strive to provide a quality Christian education, equipping your child to have a successful, fulfilling life after their time with us. As a community that values your child’s success and spiritual welfare, we pride ourselves in being proactive about preparing your child with a sound moral and academic foundation. Contact us today to learn more about our school.