How to Prepare Your Child for School

See also: Choosing a School

New beginnings and experiences open doors to various possibilities to grow and continue learning. However, they can also seem quite intimidating, especially to young children who don't have a lot of life experience to start with.

That's why many of them commonly go from feeling super excited to almost terrified as the first day of school slowly approaches. Luckily, you will be there to have their back and slowly guide them through the process.

In this article, we'll explore some of the most common questions and concerns children have when it comes to starting school for the first time, as well as some of the most common methods you can resort to in order to make this new beginning as fun and exciting as possible.

And remember that the majority of these tips will still apply even if we're talking about older children who are about to start middle or high school.

Explain to your child what to expect

First and foremost, you need to talk to your child and explain to them what they can expect going forward. Tell them more about the upcoming IQ test they'll need to take, and explain what the process will look like. The more detailed you get with your explanations, the easier it will be for your child to understand and prepare for everything that will be expected of them.

The most important thing in successfully preparing your child for school is communication, so make sure you talk to them about anything and everything as much as possible.

Address your child's feelings

As mentioned earlier, the emotional roller coaster your child will go through may end up being quite intense. So, you can expect them to be super excited and really looking forward to starting school one moment, and sobbing about it in panic the next. The important thing to keep in mind here is that both of these scenarios are entirely normal and more than likely to happen. However, your reaction to them is what will make the biggest difference. Therefore, you will need to try and remain calm, and don't respond too passionately to their reactions. Instead, try to deescalate the situation and calm your child to the best of your abilities.

Encourage them to talk about it

Next, you will need to start listening. Your child may need some encouragement to voice their concerns and worries, but once they start, you need to be there to hear them out. Depending on the flow of the conversation, you'll either get a chance to address each concern individually or you'll be able to summarize your replies.

Whichever the route the conversation takes, make sure you address every single concern; give as many detailed answers as you can and reassure your child that they really have nothing to worry about.

Do some research together

Furthermore, and especially if you're dealing with older children, you can sit down and do some research together. Find a picture of the school on the internet and show your child what their future school looks like. This will help create a sense of familiarity, which will make the whole process seem less intimidating.

If possible, you can even research the staff and play a fun game of trying to guess which teacher will your child see most often. This will help alleviate the tension and make your child more familiar with the staff.

Start working on establishing a routine early on

Creating a routine is very important when it comes to encouraging healthy habit development. That is why you need to try and come up with a routine early on that will help your child mentally prepare and adjust to their future schedule. To achieve this, try the following tips:

  • Try to wake your child up each day at the same time to help them adjust to waking up a bit earlier than they're currently used to.
  • Try to let them have all meals in a day at the same time each day.
  • Establish a bedtime routine and set a realistic timeframe for winding down. Your child will most likely try to push the boundaries a bit, so it will be up to you to determine how far is far enough.

By creating a routine a few weeks before your child starts school, both of you will have enough time to adjust to the new pace without feeling overwhelmed.

Share your child's concerns with the school

To make sure your child's transition to the new school goes as smoothly as possible, you can also contact the school and share your child's concerns with them. Remember your child is not the first one ever to change schools or start school for the first time, and they are certainly not the first to have many questions and concerns about the whole process.

All schools nowadays have trained staff and professionals whose job is to put both the children and parents at ease by answering all their questions and addressing any concerns. If possible, check with the school if you can schedule a personal meeting and bring your child along so they can hear first-hand about what they should expect once the school year starts.

Make it a positive experience

In the end, it's important not to talk about school in a negative context, but instead try to make it sound as positive as you possibly can. That way your child won't perceive school like something to be feared, or as a punishment, but instead something they should look forward to.

Put special emphasis on all the new kids your child will get to meet and all the new friends they'll make. Remind them that a bus drive to and from school will be a great opportunity to catch up, and make recesses sound as fun and enjoyable as many children deem them to be.

Be true to yourself and remember that it's completely normal if you feel anxious too. Besides, it is a new start for you just as much as it is for your child.

About the Author

Ellie Walker is a content writer who has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Though she has never worked as a journalist, she uses her skills to write wonderful and thoroughly researched blog posts. She is a versatile writer and this is why many people love working with her. Writing is her passion and that is evident in her articles.