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Starting School? Tips to prepare your child

Thursday, 12 August 2010  |  Admin

Starting school can be a little daunting for both parents and children alike. I remember standing at my classroom window crying as my Mummy walked away until another little girl took my hand and told me it would all be OK, my Mummy would be back later (bless her!)
Even if your child has been attending nursery regularly, starting 'big school' can be a bit of a challenge. Depending on where their birthday falls, they may well only just have turned four when they start school, which seems very little.
Here are a few tips which I found helped us:
Always be positive about school, emphasising how much fun it will be, that it will be great to make new friends and how much your child will learnShare stories of how much you enjoyed school and the types of activities you didTake advantage of any 'settling in' sessions ran by the school. Many in our area offer open days at the end of term, plus more social occasions like a teddy bears picnic for example which gives the children a chance to meet each other in a relaxed atmosphereWhen you visit the school, make sure you point out the obvious things like toilets or where coats and lunchboxes are storedExplain to your child that if he/she wants to know something / needs help / wants the loo that they'll get the teachers attention by raising their handIf other children from your child's nursery will be attending the same school, let the school know in advance and they may be able to place them in the same classRead some books together about starting school. We particularly like Topsy and Tim Start School by Jean and Gareth Adamson
In the week before starting school
Start re-setting bedtimes. In our house holidays mean that you can stay up a little later, however it's time to start 'school-night' earlier bedtimes.Have a trial 'school-run'. It does get quicker but you don't want to be running late, frantically throwing the children into the car at the last minute on the first day of school. You've got the whole of the rest of the year for that!
Hopefully that will be helpful - but nearer the time I'll also do a quick update on tips to prepare yourself as a parent.

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