The First Day Of School: Making A Smooth Transition From Daycare To School
For many families, the first day of school is approaching quickly — and for families like mine, this means making the transition from daycare to school. As a mother facilitating this major move in my child’s life, I’ve been trying to do everything possible in order to make the change a positive one.
As I open up about in this post, my daughter is thrilled to be starting school next month. It’s all she’s wanted to talk about since her 4th birthday last January. Thankfully, I know this will make her transition a little less daunting, however, even in her excitement, she has had questions and anxieties about it too.
“Do they have bathrooms at school?”
For example, out of the blue one afternoon, my daughter asked me, “Do they have bathrooms at school?” She looked worried that she may not be able to find one if she needed it. I explained to her that there would be several bathrooms in the school, and that her teacher would help her find them and there would be lots of people to help if she couldn’t remember.
Another worry she expressed was, “I don’t know what my teacher looks like! How will I know it’s her?” Again, I calmly explained that I wouldn’t go anywhere until she knew who her teacher was and was able to recognize her and say her name. At this time we actually have no idea which teacher (we’re debating between two schools) she’ll have at all. I reassured her that she would meet her teacher soon and that I would help her find the right classroom.
Communicate. Explain. Reassure.
One of my worries as a mother during this transition, is the fact that she will no longer spend several days a week with her daycare provider and friends. My daughter knows she won’t be at school with her best bud at daycare, and has said she will miss her — breaks my heart. So how can we make this a happy change?
Tips For A Smooth Transition From Daycare To School
- Set up playdates with daycare friends so that they are able to keep friends who won’t be at the same school
- Be sure to let your child you are open to discussing ANY questions they might have about their school, teachers, daily routine
- Ask your child questions about school to prepare them for the new environment: “What stories do you think you’ll read?” “Will you make crafts?” “Are you excited to play outside at recess?”
- Make a list of back to school shopping items and take your child out for a special day of preparing for their first day of school
- Help your child to be independant with activities like handwashing, using the bathroom, organizing their belongings, packing a backpack, putting on shoes
- Plan a celebratory breakfast on the morning of their first day — make a big deal out of this important milestone!
- Get involved with the child’s school — helping in the classroom, with fundraising activities, or on school trips
- Keep an open communication with the child’s teach and principal
- Talk to your child about school everyday — beyond, “What did you do today?” Ask them about the books they read, the ideas they had, what games they played, did they meet a new friend?
There’s no perfect way to introduce your child to a brand new routine, but by being as open about the change with your child as possible, you can make their first day of school a positive one.
What are your tips for making a smooth transition from daycare to school?
Image source: Caitlinator via photopin