First day of school: quite an exciting moment!
Whether you are three, twelve or eighteen, that first day of school is always exciting. A leap into the unknown, fear of the new … we’ve all been there. But how can you help your children not to panic? How can you keep them calm the days before that first day of school? With a few simple tricks and good organization, it is easy to go back to school relaxed.
Stress for that first day of school
Everything depends on the age of course. A three-year-old child does not experience a first day of school as an eighteen-year-old child. The older you get, the more consciously you experience it all. But roughly speaking, the approach to a first day of school comes down to the same thing, no matter how old the child is.
The young child
The young child who has been to nursery will have a little less trouble taking the step. It will move away from its familiar surroundings, will lose a lot of its former friends, but it is not with its parents, it is already used to. This makes it a lot easier. Still, the new environment and the new faces will make quite an impression on the young child. For children who have been raised at home, there is also a goodbye to mom and dad. A whole day in a strange environment, quite a big step!
The last days of the holiday
Try to spend the last days of your holiday as pleasant and calm as possible. Distract attention from school activities as much as possible. If possible, plan another short vacation during the last days. The child will not constantly think about that new school. Make sure that the child goes to sleep on time and is well rested. Tell the child how much fun it is at school, that they are going to do crafts, play games with friends, that the teacher is going to read a lot. Explain to him how a school day works. Answer his questions, but don’t talk about them all the time. Buy a nice school bag, a nice lunch box and a nice sports bag together. Get everything ready on the last day of the holiday. Choose nice clothes and matching shoes and have these ready too. These preparations avoid unnecessary stress at the last minute.
The first schoolday
If possible, take a day’s leave to bring the child to school on that first day of school. Get up on time. Let the child eat breakfast in peace. Let the child bring his favorite stuffed animal. It can find comfort in this when it is a bit difficult. Don’t forget to bring spare pants for small accidents. Tell the child that this can happen and that it is not bad at all. The teacher is used to it and will help him. Make the sandwiches for school together and add a nice extra. Avoid things that can spill, get squashed, etc. Messing around in the new school bag is no fun at all on a first day of school! Leave on time. There is nothing more annoying than arriving late on the first day of school and having to enter a new class while everyone else is already seated. Don’t go too early either. Standing all alone on the playground and having to wait half an hour is not you either. Find friends with your child who he knows from the neighborhood or sports club. Stand until the bell rings, then say goodbye briefly and leave. A long-drawn-out goodbye only makes things worse. The teacher will immediately distract the children and even if there are tears, they will dry quickly. Tell the child that you will be picking him up in the evening. If you cannot pick up the child yourself, tell them who is coming. Also report this to the teacher.
Older children are used to school. New to them is the environment, the new children, the fact that the school is perhaps a lot further away, the long days, the constant change of class and teacher and the many homework.
The last days of the holiday
An older child will already know more consciously what to expect. He already knows the ropes, knows how things are going at school. Usually the child is happy that it will see its friends again and it already knows which teacher it will be with this year. Only with children who are entering secondary school for the first time or who are taking the step to higher education can the unknown start to play tricks on the child again. Reassure the child here as well, tell them how things are going in secondary school, what to expect for the child. Explain that it will have a different teacher every hour, that it has to go from class to class. Also tell your child that it will now be the youngest in school again. Most schools have a godfather / godfather system. This means that a child from a higher year takes care of the freshmen. It shows it around a bit and is its point of contact. During the holidays, also take the way the child has to travel to get to his new school, take the bus or train together and cover the route. Also try to spend your last days relaxing and serene. Plan another little vacation. Buy school supplies together. Get everything ready. Give the child some extra money and a cell phone for unforeseen circumstances. Give him a number of someone who can help when there are problems (yourself, grandparents, neighbors, family members …). The day before school starts, let the child choose the clothes they want to wear. This prevents standing in front of the cupboard for hours on the day itself. Have them put on their favorite clothes, clothes that the child feels good in. Nothing too extravagant, then it immediately stands out. Girls shouldn’t put on too much mascara either, because it will make them look much older. Avoid anything to stand out, try to blend into the crowd for the first few days and watch the cat out of the tree.
The first schoolday
Wake the child up on time. Let it have a leisurely breakfast and leave on time. Perhaps the child can meet up with friends, which makes it a little less stressful. Approaching other children with a friend is also easier. Tell it not to stick with the one your child knows from the previous year throughout the school year, your child can later hang out with a new boyfriend who likes it better.
A few more tips for secondary or high school
Walk with the group in the beginning, make sure you don’t mistake class. Pay close attention to that first day of school. Write down what you need and what you will do. That prevents you from facing a monkey for the next few days because you don’t have something with you or bought something wrong. Make a note of the timetable and the correct class. That way you are not faced with the wrong classroom.
The first day of school is quite exciting, but the new one will soon be over. Just keep going and it will be fun! Good luck!!