Transition Tips for a Great Preschool Year
By St. Philip’s Preschool | August 19, 2019
Helping your children love learning is what we are all about! Getting your child emotionally and physically ready for learning is an important gift you can give them. Now is the time to help them turn their focus from “summer fun” to their “school adventure”. Here are six tried and true tips that will make the transition successful and happy… for everyone in your family.
You Write the Headline: Begin talking to your child about their school in positive ways. Tell them about their new teachers and help them get excited about seeing some old friends and making new ones. Remind them of the fun they will have going to Chapel every day and learning new things. Make sure they also know that you believe in them! Let them know you love how curious they are and that you’re excited about all the amazing things they will be learning about the world and about themselves.
Get in the Routine: Ideally, two weeks before school starts, have your children start going to bed at the time they will when school begins. Get your child up early and go through your morning routine at least five days before school starts. It can be difficult for some children (and parents) to adjust to going to bed and waking up earlier after sleeping in or staying up later during the summer months.
Get Comfortable: Make plans for your child to attend their My Teacher & Me appointment. This is a perfect time for your child to become familiar with the school, their classroom, and their teachers. This short 15-minute appointment will go a long way toward helping your child be comfortable on their first day of school.
Get Excited: Shop for school supplies (backpacks, lunch boxes, and nap mats) together. Allowing your child to help pick out new clothes or supplies will help them feel excited about the new school year. Keep in mind that casual clothes and closed-toed shoes are best for school.
Get Ready Inside: Plan and shop for healthy breakfasts and lunches. Remind your child that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and let sugary foods and drinks be for special occasions. Children learn and do their best in school when they eat healthy foods because their young brains and bodies NEED good nutrients in order to do what they are designed to do; learn and grow strong!
Great Expectations: Help your child know what to expect when school starts. Let them know that you will bring them to their classroom with everything they need and that their teachers will be very excited to see them. Help them understand that the teachers will love them and take great care of them. Make sure your child knows that you will give them a great big hug and kiss before you go and that you will pick them up ready to hear all about their great day.
If there are tears … This isn’t a transition tip so much as a word of wisdom. Most children would rather be “home with Mommy or Daddy”, so don’t be surprised if there are a few tears on that first day, or even for the first week. You can help your child learn confidence in themselves when you show and model confidence in them. If your child is tearful and clingy at the classroom, remind them that you love them and know they will have a great day once they get settled. Then, let the teachers bring them into the classroom. Getting sucked into “One more hug” or “a few more minutes” or staying in the classroom with them almost NEVER makes things better. What does make things better is finding out that school really is fun and that they really are “OK”. Our teachers and staff are VERY GOOD at helping children move through any tears and engage in the rich school environment. After all, isn’t that what you want for them? So, let them go with love and confidence. And, for parents who have tears (which is nothing to be ashamed of) … Ms. Beth will be available to give extra hugs and encouragement to them as well.
St. Philip’s Episcopal Preschool provides a child-centered, joyful learning environment to foster academic excellence, to grow faith that impacts the world for Christ, and to prepare children for their kindergarten experience.