The ABCs of Starting School
For me, summer always signified long days of relaxation, without the hurry and hustle bustle that a school year might bring. So as our little ones begin preschool, I am mindful of trying to maintain a little bit of that summer feeling; by approaching this new and exciting time with careful consideration. At LANK we want our children to feel unhurried, and relaxed when they enter our welcoming doors. As parents, you can help us make this transition one that is calm and happy by following a few simple tips. I call these the ABC’s of starting school!
A: Is for Arrival.
Arrive on time. It is unsettling to a child to be late for school. This is important for all children, but especially significant for new children or those having a sensitive nature. By arriving on time, your classroom teacher will have time to greet, settle and give your preschooler loving attention. Some additional tips for arrival include keeping the goodbye brief, upbeat and clear. Make eye contact with your child, and let him/her know that you look forward to seeing him after the school day. We realize how difficult this can be if your child is crying or unsure. But, if your tone remains confident and the departure brief, your child will soon acclimate. It may be tempting to linger outside your child’s class, but experience tells us this can make separation more of a challenge. Please keep in mind your preschool student is about to have a GREAT day with friends and loving teachers.
B: Is for Bedtime and Breakfast.
A new school year brings new teachers, new clothes, and new friends but it should also bring a new commitment to proper sleep. Studies show that preschool children need 11-13 hours of sleep to feel well rested. This is important to your child’s temperament, focus and participation during the school day. Likewise, taking the time to prepare a well-balanced breakfast or lunch will help your preschooler to have the concentration needed for a day filled with learning, socializing and creating. Breakfast and lunch also provide the necessary chunk of time to help make the transition from “home to school” without feeling hurried or forced.
C: Is for Consistency and Choice.
Young children like to be part of the decision making process. Give your child choices when saying goodbye, (two hugs or one kiss) eating breakfast, (oatmeal with banana, or yogurt with blueberries) or deciding which outfit to wear to school (red or blue shirt ). By allowing your preschooler to be part of the process, routines often go more smoothly. This may involve building in a bit more time to your before-school routine. Consistency is key when dealing with the newness of a school year. By keeping routines predictable, simple and consistent, your preschooler is bound
to have a relaxed, happy start to a wonderful year at LANK. We welcome you with warmth and enthusiasm!