Published on: November 8, 2016
By Jade Pilkington (Junior Junction Grade R teacher)
Here are some helpful tips…
Most children model behavior they see in their parents. If you are encouraging and excited about your child going to grade 1, it is more likely that they will catch onto your excitement and look forward to the experience.
Spend time discussing what it will be like going to a new school to mentally prepare them for the experience and equip them for situations they may find themselves in. Be sure to also ask them questions, such as:
-“How do you feel about it?”
-“What do you hope your new teacher will be like?”
-“What do you think about finding new friends?”
-“What do you think you should do if…?”
Asking questions and talking helps your child/children know they can share things with you. Ask them if they have any questions or fears and share what it was like for you going to a new school. Be honest when you answer but also reassuring. Seeing that you went through it too help them be a little braver.
Don’t wait until school starts to get yourself and your child into a new routine. Try starting a week or two weeks earlier, as this gives you all an opportunity to adjust.
Be sure to attend the school orientation where your child will be able to meet the teachers and other classmates, as well as to see what the school and classrooms look like. This will help your child visualise and familiarise themselves with their new environment, making it less intimidating.
If possible, try and arrange a few play dates in the holidays with children who are going to the same school as your child. There may be another parent in the same situation as you who will be grateful that you reached out.
All the best!