The first day of school is a huge milestone for any child but just as how each child is different, each one handles this milestone differently.
So, it’s important to try and prepare your child and make sure they are ready to take their first steps into this next era of their lives.
Here is your checklist to make sure that your child is ready for their first day of school.
From supplies to handling their emotions, check out the information below to make sure you have fully prepared your child for this momentous occasion!
What Supplies Will Your Child Need For Their First Day Of School?
First, let’s get the easy stuff out of the way – supplies.
Due to the rising costs of running a school and the lack of funding most schools receive, parents are expected to supply their child with most of the daily essentials they will need.
Some schools have the funding available in order to supply their students with most of the things they will need, but this is not always the case.
As a result, it’s important to make sure your child has everything they need for their first day.
The first essential is a backpack. This backpack (or any kind of bag) will carry the rest of their supplies. Make sure the bag is the right size so your child can carry it with ease and still fit all their things inside.
It should also be waterproof so their things won’t get ruined if they are caught in the rain during the school run.
Next is a lunch box and water bottle.
If your child has their lunch and drinks supplied, then no biggie – but if not, then it’s a good idea to get your child a sturdy lunch box and reusable water bottle so they won’t get hungry or thirsty throughout the day.
Finally, we’re at the writing essentials.
Your child will need different writing tools depending on their age. Younger children will need pencils, a ruler, an eraser, and pencil sharpener.
All of this should be securely kept in a pencil case. If you want to, you can also supply your child with some crayons or colored pencils so they can use their own for crafts.
Older children will need ballpoint pens for taking notes, along with other looks like highlighters, a calculator, and math supplies like protractors and compasses.
How To Prepare Your Child Emotionally For Their First Day Of School
Now, for the hard part – preparing your child emotionally for their first day of school (see also “Last Day Of School: Survival Guide“).
It’s not uncommon to see tears and tantrums in the playground during the first few days of school, while other parents are sometimes left a little offended that their child is happy to let go and dive straight into school without so much as a goodbye.
However, children can be unpredictable so here are some tips to try out so you can prepare your child emotionally for their first day of school.
Show Them The School Before They Start
First, it’s a great idea to introduce your child to their new school as much as possible.
Older children are often taken on trips and tours around their new schools so they can become familiar with the layout and faces of the staff there. For younger children, it can be a bit more tricky.
It’s a good idea to drive or walk past the school as often as possible. Point the building out, and tell them about the school.
If your child has an older sibling, take them with you when you go to pick the older child up from school. This way, they can see what a school looks like when it’s open and busy.
Make Sure Your Child Is Developed Enough For School
For young children, it’s important to make sure that they are developed enough to attend school. This means that they need to be independent enough in a range of areas before they can be ready for a school setting.
This means that they can use the potty independently, dress themselves, know how to wash their hands, feed themselves with utensils, and ideally have some level of reading and counting.
It’s not fair to leave these vital lessons up to teachers to teach, so as a parent, you need to have the basics covered before you can hand your child over to a school for most of the day.
Socialize Your Child
Your child should also be as socialized as possible. This doesn’t mean just seeing them play well with a cousin or sibling.
Children attending school for the first time should already be familiar with playing in different settings, meeting new children, and engaging in turn-talking.
So, try taking your children to the playground as much as possible, and encourage them to socialize with other children their age.
Attending meet-ups, parties, and gatherings with plenty of other children so your child is used to playing with others. This will help them feel less isolated at school and hopefully, they will be able to quickly make friends.
Get Them Excited
This final step is one of the easiest to try – get your child excited for school!
This can range from talking about school with them, trying on school uniforms, asking them to help you pick out their school backpack and supplies.
Read books or watch shows set in a school setting so they have a better idea of what to expect at school.
This doesn’t just apply to younger children either. Older children should be excited by talking about all the new people they will meet, the extracurricular activities they can try out, and the new subjects they will get to explore!
So, it’s super important that you prepare your child for their first day of school but it’s easier said than done.
Follow the tips above to try and emotionally prepare your child for school and use the supply checklist provided to make sure they have everything they need. Good luck!