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First day at school

From experience we know that it takes time for children to adjust to their routine, build relationships, and understand that their new preschool is a fun, safe, and happy place. Some children take to their new preschool environments with ease; whereas others may initially suffer from separation anxiety. This is completely normal, and will pass in time. Montessori Stepping Stones has prepared some tips which will make your child’s first day at preschool (and the days after) a more manageable experience for your little one, and for you.

Before the first day at school:

  1. Talk with your child about the new preschool and new friends he/she will make. It is also a good idea to read your child a book about going to school. For example, Usborne first experiences “Going to School” or “Max and Millie Start School”.
  2. Remember your child feels your emotions and your child will pick up on them so you have to model positive behaviors and reactions. Keep discussions about preschool positive, and focus on things that your child is likely to enjoy.
  3. At Montessori Stepping Stones we invite you and your child to come in for an hour orientation before your child will start to attend the preschool. Orientations usually run when children are in the garden. It will be a good time for your child to see the preschool and meet his/her teachers and other children.
  4. Pack your child’s bag. It should include: toothbrush, two spare sets of clothes, sleepers, diapers (if she/he needs). Remember to label everything clearly beforehand.

Your child’s first day at school:

  1. Establish a positive and happy morning routine for preschool days. In addition, always give yourself plenty of time to get ready and arrive on time. Feeling late or rushed can cause children to feel extra anxiety.
  2. It is important to arrive before 9:00am. Once you have arrived, the teacher will welcome you into Montessori Stepping Stones. You will be shown where your child’s locker is.
  3. Try to make goodbye short. Give your child a kiss, hug at the door and let them know you love them, and reassure them when you will back.
  4. On your child’s first day at Montessori Stepping Stones, it is wise to pick them up a little earlier so that they ease into their new routine.
  5. On the way home, establish a routine where you talk to your child about their preschool day. Focus on the positive aspects of their day, such as their favourite activity, or playing with friends. By consistently reinforcing the positive aspects of their school day, your child will learn that their new environment is a fun and happy place, and their feelings of anxiety will decrease over time.

We hope these tips will be helpful to you!