First Day Of School

Your child's first day of school will be one of their most important days of their life. Your child is going to be excited yet nervous and you will be nervous, excited, and worried for your child. How you and your child handle their first day of school will determine how they will handle the education process for the next twelve plus years of their life.

West End and Highlands Montessori offers the following suggestions to help prepare your child for preschool:

1) Prepare your child:

Talk to your child about preschool leading up to their first day at school. Drive by the school a few times and arrange to take your child on a visit to the school so they can become more familiar with the environment. Let them help with the purchase of their school clothing, their new shoes, and new school bag. The more involved in the process they are, the more relaxed they will feel.

Remember change is part of life as are transitions. Scaffolding these changes (i.e. breaking them into bite sized chunks) is a life skill called critical thinking and part of the responsibility of healthy parenting. If you need some coaching or support with this skill we have in house coaching that any parent, client or non, can access by giving us a call (780) 893-3833.

2) Talk to your child:

Discuss the positive aspects of school and find out what your child's expectations and worries are. Explain to them what their new routine will be like and how it differs from their daily routine at home. To help your child feel more comfortable, you and other family members can share memories of your own schooling and what you remember most fondly about the experience.

3) Review the calendar:

Talk to your child about what days of the week they will be attending school and what activities they can expect on these specific days. Also speak to your child about special activities that they will be taking part in throughout the school year.

If your child has never been in a preschool setting before, they may feel some separation anxiety. To help your child feel more secure, do not allow your child to see that you have any reservations about leaving them. It is important to your child that you trust our staff and our school and it is also a good idea to allow your child to walk in to our school rather than carrying them and to keep your goodbyes short.

Ideally children who have been prepared in advance will experience little drama when arriving at our school. Chances are, you will be amazed by how adaptable your child can be when entering a classroom eager to meet new friends and learn new things. And also plan for ebbs and flow in their interest and emotions. This is a natural part of life and learning which is forever ongoing. We ask you consider this by framing new things as exciting opportunities that you will embark on with your child every time your family travels, makes new friends and for special events like entering elementary school!

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