I don’t know about your household but mine is in the back-to-school tailspin! Mommy is frantically labeling and sewing and prepping, dad doesn’t know what all the fuss is about because let’s face it, he went to school in the snow and didn’t even have a text book…and seems to think he is fine! One kid is nervous and the other is super excited and cannot wait to start with her big sister! All this stress, excitement, nerves, frantic activity makes for a potential catastrophe!!! But not if you are prepared! Here are a few tips to make Back-2-School Cool!
*1. Order your labels, text books and stationary early!* I have learnt this lesson this year! I left my labels to the last minute and am praying and pleading with God that they arrive in time! Not worth the stress!!
*2. Countdown the sleeps!* Children have no idea how time passes because it is such an abstract concept! Children are very concrete and by making time a concrete concept you can ease some of the anxiety when waiting for their big day! Either you can make a calendar, to count down with or you can use a wall calendar. Let your little one cross off each day or move a little animal along until he gets to the day marked for their first day!
*3. Familiarize your child with his school* Make sure you drive past your new school as often as possible in the days and weeks leading up to school. Make sure to shout ‘Hello School!’ enthusiastically or ‘See you soon!’ excitedly! If your little one is especially anxious you could try taking a photo of her new classroom and her new teacher!
*4. Make some friends* You can help your little one by arranging a few play dates in the school holidays with children you know will be in his new class. Everything is easier when you are facing it with a buddy!
*5. Bags, lunch boxes, and uniforms.* Try get your little one excited about his new school bag, lunch box, juice bottle etc. involve him and let him choose some of these items, personalize them with his name or a special bag tag or key ring etc. leave these special items for his first day so that he has something to look forward to!
*6. Be an early bird!* Try to get to school early so that you are not rushing as this can only add to his and your stress levels. Explain the school day in concrete terms, e.g. You are going to play inside, have a snack and then read a story and then mommy will be here to fetch you. Try to link an activity with when he can expect your arrival, e.g. storytime. Try your utmost to be on time to fetch him, especially in the first week of school, this will help build his trust that you will be back each day to fetch him!
*7. Get back into routine.* I am sure that like my children, yours are out of routine in the school holidays, going to bed later, waking up in the morning later etc…in the week leading up to school ease your little one back into his familiar routine. This way that first week will not be such a shock to his system!
*8. Play/ Draw School-School.* Children don’t talk about what worries them like adults do, they do however draw or play out what’s on their mind! So pull out the teddies, the cars or the Barbies and play school-school with them. Make the teddies or cars etc. get dressed, go in the car, say bye to mommy, play inside, draw or paint with their teacher, sit on the mat, play outside etc. ask lots of questions and act out all different scenarios with these kinds of games. This will help your little one mentally prepare for school.
There are many tips and hints which can make this time a special and memorable one…we would love to hear what your best back-to-school tip is? Perhaps sharing will help another Groovy Adventurer mom and Adventurer enjoy this exciting transition!
Good luck for your first days!