Tuesday,17 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1263, (17 - 30 September 2015)
Tuesday,17 July, 2018
Issue 1263, (17 - 30 September 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Top tips for starting school

In a few days, many children will be heading to school for the first time. They’ll meet new friends, new teachers, a new schedule and a new campus. From changing daily habits to preparing children for what to expect, the experience can be a bit overwhelming for both parents and children.

You’re probably excited about all the fun your child will have, but at the same time you may feel a little sad that your baby is venturing out into the big world without you, especially if your child is starting school for the first time.

Your child may feel proud about being big, but at the same time he may be worried about being separated from you and starting something unfamiliar.

Calm down — these emotions are normal. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do in the weeks before to get ready for the big day. But try to keep your efforts low key. If you make too big a deal out of this milestone, your child may end up being more worried than excited.

And remember, your child is facing and managing a big life change. He or she may need more support, nurturing and patience from you during this transition.


As you begin the countdown to the first day of school, here are some tips to keep in mind. Just choose the bits that are helpful and leave the rest.


- Try to have fun with pre-school preparation: for example, by purchasing a backpack together. If possible, let your child choose it himself. This gives him a sense of control and emphasises the fact that he is big now and is starting preschool.

- Listen to your child’s worries and reassure him/her that school is a good place where he/she will have fun and learn. Answer all the questions patiently. Make clear at what time school begins and ends each day. This helps your child feel more in control and reduces his anxiety.

- Visit your child’s school to see his new classroom and meet his new teachers before school officially starts. These visits increase your child’s comfort with and confidence in this new setting.

- Try to have your child meet a classmate before the first day of school so he/she will already have a friend when school starts.

- Let your child know it’s normal to feel happy, sad, excited, scared or worried. Explain that starting something new can feel scary and that lots of people feel that way and that most kids are nervous about the first day of school.

- Label all items — backpack, jacket, shoes, etc. — with your child’s name and his teacher’s name in permanent ink.

- Start observing your child’s school bedtime about two weeks before school starts. Children often go to bed later in the summer months. Help your child get into a school schedule by keeping to school bedtime.

- Reassure your child that if any problems arise at school, you will be there to help resolve them.

- Wake up early enough on the first day of school so that you and your child don’t have to rush. Make breakfast for your child and, if possible, sit down to eat together, or at least talk with him/her as he/she eats and you get ready.

- Pack your child’s backpack together. If your child is taking lunch, select foods that you know are his favourites. Having some familiarity on his first day is helpful as he/she will need to adjust to many changes.

- Keep your tone positive and upbeat. Children pick up on the reactions of the trusted adults in their lives. So try not to look worried or sad, and don’t linger too long at the school gates.

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