Summer has wrapped up and it’s time for school to start again! Who’s ready?! Some parents may be eagerly awaiting the school year and getting back into that routine with excitement. Others may be full of nerves and overwhelming emotions about their baby growing up so quickly. Well, here are a few helpful tips to make sure you and your child are ready for this big day!
Every year before the school year starts, St. Luke’s families are invited to join our community for the Wildcat Welcome. This is an event held to Worship and pray over the upcoming school year as well as visit the classroom, meet the teachers, and explore the school campus. We highly encourage families to attend this event as it gives your child an opportunity to become familiar with the campus and start building a connection with their teachers, even before the first day of school. This year, the Wildcat Welcome will be taking place on August 8th. Make sure to check your email for more information about this event!
Books are a great way to help children navigate their feelings about going to school. This can prompt important discussions about school and what your child should expect as they enter those doors. Here are just a few of the great books that can be read before the first day: The Kissing Hand, The Night Before Preschool, Wemberly Worried, Pete the Kitty’s First Day of School, and many more! These books may help soothe your child about any anxious feelings they have about starting the school year.
3. Extending Discussions
As discussed above, reading books can prompt important conversations about what to expect at school. This is a great time to walk your child through their thoughts, worries, and excitements of the upcoming school year. It is important to be honest with your child and explain what they might do in school, what they might learn, and describe some new skills they will be practicing such as cleaning up, taking turns, waiting in line, etc. For the little ones, keep reminding them that mommy/daddy/grandma/grandpa, etc. will always come back for them at the end of the day. Even though you, as a parent, may have some worries and nervous emotions, try to remain positive, encouraging, and excited when talking with your child about school. Children feed off your emotions and remaining positive can make an impact on your child’s thoughts about starting school!
4. Practice Self-Help Skills
Preschoolers are constantly learning self-help skills, so it is important to start implementing these skills before they start school. Practice hand-washing, dressing and undressing, taking shoes on and off, and opening containers to build their confidence when they need to do these things at school. Other things your child can help with is packing their snack and lunch as well as picking out their clothes and shoes. It is helpful to practice the morning routine of a school day such as getting dressed, eating breakfast, and getting out the door on time. Pretend it’s a school day and model this routine before the actual first day!
5. Keeping Goodbyes Short and Sweet
It can be very difficult to drop your child off and walk away, leaving them to conquer new adventures and challenges as they begin their school journey. It is important to remember that crying and separation anxiety is developmentally appropriate at the preschool age. Creating a goodbye ritual may help provide your child with comfort and familiarity, so your child knows what’s to come. For example, this could be a special hug or handshake, or a silly saying such as “See you later, alligator!” Once you’ve said your goodbyes, it is best for you to leave quickly as prolonging the goodbye could make the separation anxiety even more difficult. Preschool is supposed to be a safe, fun environment for your child so it is important that your reaction reflects these thoughts. Each day will continue to get easier for you and your child!
Learning to navigate these new feelings of excitement and nervousness can be difficult for both you and your child. The teachers and staff are so excited to see new and familiar faces as we guide your family through this continuous school journey. We are here to uplift, serve, teach, and pray with you while our Lord continues to bless us each day!