Starting the new school year is a time of great excitement and change. Help smooth the transition for your preschooler with these back to school tips.
Talk and Read about School
Tell stories about when you went to school and share how you felt about it. Find childhood pictures of yourself and other adults in your child’s life and talk about the photos. Listen to your preschooler and answer any questions she might have. Read books about school with your child – it’s a wonderful way to bond, and the books will often spark a great discussion. Fantastic Fun and Learning has a list of books about the first day of school. Buggy and Buddy has a list of her favorite school books as well.
Even if your child has already attended preschool, he’ll have a new teacher and a new classroom. Try your best to bring him to any preschool orientations at the school. If you’re not able to, see if a grandparent or a family friend can take him. Knowing his classroom and teacher ahead of time will ease some of the beginning of the year anxieties.
Establish a Routine
Switching from a summer schedule to a school schedule can be stressful for everyone in the household. Establish a routine of "early to bed" and "school wake-up time" several days before school begins so your child has time to adjust to the new schedule. Set the alarm clock, go through your morning rituals, and get in the car or to the bus stop on time. Routines help children feel comfortable, and establishing a solid school routine will help make the first day of school feel less chaotic.
Prepare for Separation Anxiety
When it's time to go back to school, young children (and parents too!) sometimes experience separation anxiety. These feelings are totally normal. Many of the above tips will help ease back to school anxieties, but you may also consider reading up on separation anxiety and how to ease it.