Introducing Your Child to School
What to Expect
Children handle new situations with surprising ease when they know what to expect. Tell your child she will be meeting new friends, playing games and having fun. Let her know we will play on the playground, ride tricycles, and play with play dough and do art projects. Tell her there will be other moms and dads at the school who will be there to help her as well as teachers to guide her through the day. Be sure to let her know that you will stay with her until she is ready to be on her own.
- 9:00 - Children arrive and put things away
- 9:10 - Big playground time
- 9:45 - Back into school for Circle Time
- 10:10 - Hand washing
- 10:15 - Snack time
- 10:30 - Circle time
- 10:45 - Group time and table activities
- 11:45 - Free play time inside and outside
- 12:25 - Clean up
- 12:35 - Circle time
- 12:45 - Hand washing
- 12:50 - Lunch
- 1:00 - Parents arrive; the school day ends
Your Child's First Day
Allow ample time for the unhurried completion of your morning routine so that you and your child arrive at the school between 9:00 and 9:30 feeling relaxed and secure. Help your child find his cubby and store his extra clothes and other belongings. His lunch should go on the cart beside the double doors. Be sure to show him where the bathroom is and point out the parent helpers. Follow your child's lead as he explores his surroundings. If he isn't ready to jump right in and play with the other children encourage him to play alongside them or to find something he would like to play with on his own. Allow your child to cling to you if he feels the need.
Easing into separation
Some children want their parent to leave minutes after walking into the schoolyard. Others require a more gradual separation. It's important to follow your child's lead when it comes to leaving her/him at school. Here are some tips for making a smooth break:
- Stay with your child as long as he needs you.
- Remain visible. Eventually you will fade into the background, but you'll want to be nearby to comfort your child when he needs you.
- If you need to step away from your child for a moment, tell him where you will be.
- Leave guidance of your child to the working parents and teachers.
- If your child has a hard time separating, try leaving him for short intervals that gradually become longer. You might start by going to the car to retrieve something and work up to a trip to the grocery store.
- Don't sneak out when your child isn't looking.
- Speak to the teacher/director privately about your child's progress and plan further steps toward separation, if necessary.