*This is a collaborative post* It’s coming up to that time of year – when the children go back to school. If you’ve never had a child in school before, you’re going to be looking for ways to make life easy for your child now that they will be old enough to go into prep. When you’re at home with the kids, it’s an exciting idea that they’ll be in school one day, but then you get there and the worry sets in that you haven’t done enough. Are you doing enough to make them feel prepared for school? Are they secure enough to go without hanging onto your leg? Will they cry at the school gate? Will you?
The good news is that there is much that you can do to get rid of that panic, that feeling you have failed before you’ve begun. You can look into doing so many things this year that will get you both ready to face the prospect of school and all it can bring. Here are some tips to help!
- Enrol in classes. Before they start school, it can help your children to feel as if they are a part of something. By enrolling in gymnastics or a sport or even swim classes, you can get your child used to doing something away from you – and you can, too. It’s not easy to feel okay with letting your kids head to school for upwards of six hours a day. So, start them off with a hobby. It’s a couple of hours at a time and you can even watch, but the point is that you let go of their hand for a little while and see how they get on.
- Go through your routines. From toileting to washing hands before meals and after the bathroom, you need to drum in these routines for your child so that you can feel confident about their self-awareness while you’re not by their side. Getting them used to putting on their shoes and jacket, putting on their hat for the outdoor play times and even how to ask for help when they need it will help them to settle faster and feel more secure.
- Get ready for germ season! The very first term of school is one that is packed with coughs, colds and flu. It makes sense: you put 20 kids in the same space and expect them not to swap germs and you have a recipe for disaster. You need to get ready for the germ season with good hygiene habits, so hook that antibacterial gel to their backpack and teach them how and when to use it.
- Encourage good sleep habits. Before your child goes to school, it’ll help everyone to get into a good sleeping routine. Not only will they have to wake up for school in the morning, they need to get enough sleep each night to ensure that they are able to wake up and feel rested. A 3-5 year old child should be getting anywhere from 10-13 hours of sleep per day.