Starting School Tips

Is your little one starting school in September? Here are some tips for how to support them –

  1. Make sure they know it’s okay to be both excited and worried. New experiences can be both of these emotions all at the same time! Perhaps encourage them to role play their feelings out.
  2. Practice the new morning routine so they know what to expect.
  3. Encourage them to try their uniform on and look at lots of pictures of the school and teaching staff (if the school hasn’t provided these, they’re usually available on their website).
  4. Talk through with them what they’ll do if they need help. You can’t promise them every day will be a good one, but you can equip them with what to do if things go wrong.
  5. Don’t have a last minute panic about academics! Reception involves a lot of play based learning and the teachers will know how to support all the children with their learning. Your child doesn’t need to write their name or add up before they start school. The best thing to focus on is their social and emotional development so they are prepared to handle their new experiences and challenges.
  6. When they start school, expect them to be tired and emotional when they come home. They hold it together all day and might need to let it out when they get home. Focus on lots of connection and chill time. Sometimes slowing down after school activities for a bit can help – it depends on your child.
  7. Don’t force them to talk about their day. Instead, you could try having a routine of everyone in the house sharing one good and one not so good thing that happened each day, or use emotion cards for your child to show you how their day went.
  8. Don’t panic if you start seeing new behaviours. It’s part of the process – they will discover a whole new world of friendships and new adults who do things differently to others they’ve encountered. Try to avoid telling them off and just kindly and gently reinforce the way you do things in your home.
  9. Most of all, be there for them and focus on connection. If they have a tough or overwhelming day they need us to refill their emotional tank and boost their resilience. That comes from connection and love.