Starting a new school can be scary for a small child – and for the parents too! After recently going through this ourselves, I’ve shared some advice in this article which will hopefully prepare your child – and yourself – for this big step.
When waving a school gate bye-bye to their children for the very first time. Chances are there will be tears, excitement and apprehension but by preparing your child, and yourself, for the new school year the first steps in education needn’t be too scary.
Be uniform savvy
Ensure you have a list of school uniform must-haves directly from the school office to avoid over-spending or under-buying. Many schools sell standard items themselves that can save dragging grumpy children around shops.
Be careful to label items, including shoes, coats and bags, with your child’s name to avoid losses in the PE changing rooms.
Swot up on the rules
While you might be happy for your child to wear jewellery or a certain hairstyle, the school may not. Rightly or wrongly schools are notoriously picky about the appearance of their students. So avoid unnecessary arguments for you and humiliation for your child by ensuring that you know the school rules and adhere to them.
If you haven’t yet try to familiarise yourself and your child with their new school. Many will host a summer fete where students, teachers and parents will be getting involved – pop along and get to know people who will be involved in your child’s future. Or take a regular stroll past the building to get to know the morning route to school and talk to your little one about what they’ll be doing there in the coming months.
Even the most outgoing child is bound to feel more than a little worried about that big, scary place they call school. While talking to them and telling them about your own time at school may ease some fears, no parent has all the answers. Let favourite characters such as Charlie and Lola help. I Am Too Absolutely Small For School by Lauren Child is available from most bookshops.
Don’t show fear
A new school is just about as terrifying as it comes for parents but your little one doesn’t have to know that. Even if you feel like weeping every time the subject comes up put on a brave face and smile.
If you show positivity and happiness your child will follow suit, let them know you’re proud of them and believe they’ll love every minute of their new life at school.
Do your maths
It’s not just the kids who’ll be learning to count this autumn term. Do your research in advance to be financially prepared for the school year.
Speak to the school to get a feel for how many trips you’ll be expected to pay for and what lunches are most likely to cost you. You might even ask around parents of older children to find out what equipment they consider a must or hidden costs you might not have considered.