Getting your child ready for their first year of school

Starting school is a massive milestone in any child’s life. But it can also give rise to worry and uncertainty if they don’t feel ready for the change. As a parent, navigating this time can be extremely difficult, especially if you’re unsure how to best support your little one with their transition. Here are some simple ways to ease back-to-school worries and help your child prepare for their first year of school.


3 simple tips for getting your child ready for their first year of school


Slowly introduce their new routine.

The change in routine can be a major challenge for many children as they transition into primary school. Everything from sleeping schedules to meal times can be thrown up in the air once the school year begins. So it’s a great idea to ease your child into their new routine sooner rather than later.

If your child struggles with their bedtime routine, why not gradually put them to bed and wake them up in line with their new schedule? This will ensure they are used to the change when school begins.

It can also be helpful to start serving breakfast, morning tea, and lunch at the same time they eat at school. This will avoid low energy levels from missed meals throughout the day.

For children who show signs of separation anxiety, try spending small periods apart before the school year begins. This will allow your child to gradually adjust to periods of separation, making the transition to the classroom much more manageable.

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Make room for mindfulness.

Teaching your child some mindfulness and breathing exercises can also help them manage their emotions and anxiety in the lead-up to the big day. It will prove helpful in the classroom, too.

The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 technique is a fun way to incorporate mindfulness into day-to-day activities. Ask your child to list five things they can see, four things they can touch, three things they can hear, two things they can smell, and one thing they can taste. This excellent grounding technique can be done together or as a solo exercise when they feel overwhelmed.

Another technique is ‘box breathing’. This involves breathing in for four seconds, holding for four, breathing out for four, and holding for four.


Build skills to give them confidence.

As with many things in life, preparation is critical. Small skills like cutting, holding a pencil correctly and manipulating small objects can quickly be taken for granted as adults. But they will make a world of difference in your child’s confidence levels when they finally reach the classroom.

Equally, independently opening a lunchbox, unwrapping a sandwich or opening a snack packet can help a child develop great independence and confidence in the playground. Learning to go to the toilet independently, clean themselves, and wash their hands is another important set of tasks to get right before the big day.

Friendship skills shouldn’t be overlooked, either. Kindness and including others are also critical for fostering significant social interactions and helping them make many friends. At the same time, it’s also important to teach your child that they are ultimately their own boss and can make their own decisions. Getting that balance right is one of the most important lessons they’ll learn at school.

A child’s first few weeks of school can be challenging to navigate. But with the proper support, they will quickly adjust to their new environment. Understanding what your child needs and how best you can help with the transition is crucial to starting the school year on the right foot.

By Suncoast Christian College

Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids events, attractions & things to do with kids, schools and education, school holiday guides, health & wellbeing for families, parenting and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

By Guest Contributor

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