The first year of primary school can be a roller coaster ride that parents often never forget. This means we have to get it as right as possible. Here are a few sure-fire tips for parents and children embarking on this amazing time. Make no mistake it’s hard work! It will consume much of your waking hours. Getting it right though will be worth every second you apply to it.

So here goes…

Leading up to the start of school:

  • Have loads of fun practicing getting dressed in their school uniform – e.g. new shoes are very hard work for small fingers to handle therefore it is very important that they are manageable.

GOAL: Personal confidence

  • Have lots of ‘picnics’ at morning tea and lunch using the lunchbox and talk about what might be eaten at these times and what could be saved for later.

GOAL: Being able to demonstrate social confidence

  • Walk around the new school at least three times. Talking about the playground, bathrooms and where the classroom is in relation to these buildings – a familiar space is critical to confidence.

GOAL: Having a sense of safety in known spaces

  • When talking about ‘big-school’ check in with your child to understand what they are thinking about and clarify any misconceptions – they listen very carefully to the conversations you are having with your friends!

GOAL: Removing unwanted stress and clarifying mixed messages.

  • At Kindergarten Orientation make a good connection with your child’s teacher. Make sure the three of you do this purposefully. Lots of conversation which includes your child is so important. It may take a while to do this, as the teacher will have a few children and parents about, but it very much worth your while. Maybe make the teacher a card from the two of you and hand it over together. Start the relationship personally and purposefully and with lots of confident smiles.

GOAL: Great connections are a powerful currency in a new environment.