A couple of weeks back I teamed up with some UK bloggers and George at Asda to share our school days memories as part of their Back to School Campaign and it brought me right back, back to pog wars, chocolate muffins on a Friday, meeting friends for life and soggy sambos.
School days have changed so much over the years. My six-year-old collects Blu Tac from her classroom walls on the sly and thinks it’s the coolest thing ever while I spent yard playing with conkers, tamagotchi’s and yo-yos. She gets to choose her lunch from an online menu while I had rotten, soggy ham and cheese sambos with warm milk. They’ve even introduced school tracksuits since I went to school, no more sweating under your long sleeved shirts. Times have certainly changed.
One thing that hasn’t changed is friendship building, school is that one place we meet our life long friends. I always worried Kayla would struggle to make friends with her bossy nature, she can be very loud and abrupt but she has made so many friends over the past two years in school. It brings me back to my school friendships, it so happens I met Kayla’s godmother in my first days of school and we are still best friends now. I could call on her at any time to mind all three of my kids and she has no fear in telling me where to go. She’s a keeper. I can only hope the friendships Kayla makes in these early school years blossom right through like mine have.
I’m no expert in schooling (or parenting), in fact, I’ve been asked to stay behind at collection ‘for a word’ to many time to count but if you have a kid starting school this September here are some tips that might help prepare and with those first few days.
Tips for starting school:
- Help your child improve early literacy and learning skills. Encourage your child to find letters of the alphabet in unexpected places and around the home. Count fruit, match colors and read to your child as often as you can. If you haven’t already join the library, now is a perfect time and it’s FREE!
- Learning to hold and control a pencil is one of the most important skills for a junior infant encourage them to scribble, draw and free-write. Help them recognise their own name, being able to write it will be a huge benefit too.
- Visit the school with your child to see his/her new classroom and were possible meet his/her new teacher before school officially starts.
- Teach your child to use the toilet independently. Children pick up so many bugs especially in their first year in school. It may be inevitable to avoid but you can teach them to wash their hand properly.
- Label everything. And I mean everything. There will be twenty something four-to-five-year-olds, some with similar or same names. There will be less chance of your child’s belongings going home with the wrong student as young children often misplace their items. Write their name on the inside of their shoes too. I also pop a character keyring on the zip of my little one’s school coat, she finds it much to distinguish at home time and if she takes if off in yard.
- If your child cannot tie his/her shoelaces, velcro runner/shoes are highly recommended. Children don’t tend to approach teachers to tie their shoe laces, often leading to trips and falls. Elasticated waists and shoulder strapped school bags are a big advantage too.
- Try to relax and do not to fuss upon arrival of your child’s classroom. Help your child find a seat and hang up their coat. Encourage your child to interact with other students.
- Separation anxiety is very common for both parents and children. It can be a very traumatic saying goodbye to your child. If your child becomes distressed, do not overstay in the classroom. Most children are laughing and playing shortly after parents leave. Rest assured if your child is not settling well the teacher will contact you.
- If your child does become emotional on the first day of school, tell your child you will be going and that you will be back to pick them up at the end of the school day. Do not hang around the classroom door or peek in windows; it will only upset your child more.
- Bring tissues.
- Don’t expect a detailed account of how your child is settling in the first few weeks. If there are any concerns, the teacher will let you know. If you have any apprehensions or worries, make an appointment to discuss these with your child’s teacher.
- It is vital to be on time at the end of school day. It can be very stressful for some children if you are late.
*This is a sponsored post.