(Here is James on his very first say of Primary School!)
I wanted to put together a post about a few of the things we did with James before he started school in the hope they would help him settle better and whilst im no expert I wanted to share those with you.
Talk to them about school - As soon as we started applying for schools for James we started talking to him about going to school which meant it became familiar. We kept it lighthearted and kept the conversation open for him to ask questions etc if he felt he needed to. Talking about it made it seem less daunting and more a part of every day conversation for James.
Let them help purchase school uniform - More than likely going to school will be the first time your child will have to wear a full uniform which can be a confusing for a child who is used to wearing and selecting their own clothes. I took James along with me to pick up his uniform letting him try it on both in the shop and at home. He felt grown up helping pick his own school clothes and he was so excited to wear them for his first day at school.
Have them present during the home visit - Our primary school have a home visit for pupils who are joining reception class where a teachers / teaching assistant come to your home to meet you and the child and find out a little more info etc about them. I felt it was really important for James to be here for this so that he could meet his possible teacher but also so they could get a look at him at home rather than just hearing information from me. It enabled them to see how he interacted in an environment he was comfortable in too.
Go along to settling in/ stay and play sessions - Lots of primary schools will offer settling in sessions or stay at play sessions for all children starting school. These will be on certain dates and it will give your child a chance to have a look around the school and what will be their new classrooms. It will also give them a chance to meet teachers and other children who will be joining them in September so that when they start some faces will be familiar making it less daunting.
Get Everything prepared - The day/ evening before school begins talk to them about what is going to happen the follow morning. Let your child help set out school uniform etc and make packed lunch the evening before if needed. This way the morning can be relaxed and not frantic and stressful for your child. I found James wanted extra cuddles and had lots of questions the morning before so it helped that I had everything prepared before hand so that I could take my time with him and answer them all.
Practice the school run - Before James started school we did the school run several times it gave us a chance to see how long it would take but also a chance for James to see the school again. We did it several times when other children were in school too so he could see them happily playing outside which made him excited to go. I found practicing walking the school run got him familiar with our morning routine and the surroundings which made it less daunting on the morning of school.
So thats a few of my top tips that I found helped us! Do you have any to share for all those mums and dads with children about to start school? I would love it if you could share them in the comments below.
Good luck to all those parents and children who are going to be starting their exciting journey in school this September!