Transitioning Your Child to School: 8 Tips for a Successful Start

As a parent, there’s no greater joy than seeing your child blossom and thrive. There are few challenges that can be as scary as watching them start school for the first time. The responsibility of keeping them safe, the stress of saying goodbye in the morning and making sure they have everything they need to succeed, and the anxiety over whether or not they’ll like it can all feel like too much to handle. 


Children usually transition into school at around five years old, but this will depend on where you live and what type of programs exist in your area. Regardless of how old your child is when they start school, readying them for this big change is something every parent should prepare for. Here are some tips for transitioning your child to school so that they feel prepared and ready from day one.


Talk to your child about school before they start

As soon as you know your child is ready to start school, begin a conversation about what their days will look like and what they can expect. This will give them the chance to ask questions and feel more prepared for what’s to come. You can also use this time to talk about what they’d like to accomplish while at school, helping to create a positive mindset from the get-go. Prepare your child for the change in their routine, structure, and surroundings, so that they’re not surprised when it happens. This preparation is especially important for parents of young children who are still getting used to walking and talking. 


The change from being at home to being at school with other children can be overwhelming for these little ones, and their parents may not realize it until it’s too late. To receive further insight on the best way to begin socializing your child, check out 7 tips to help your child socialize at school. Help your child feel more comfortable with the transition by preparing them as best you can, answering any questions they have, and making sure they feel ready to take on this new challenge.


Help your child feel more comfortable with change

One of the biggest challenges that young children face when transitioning to school early on is change. They’ll be moving from being under the care of one parent to another, with a different set of rules and expectations. Beyond that, some kids will even have to change rooms, playgrounds, and even friends. Acknowledge this and make an effort to help your child feel more comfortable with the change. Give them some space to adjust and feel out this new environment before you start to push them to interact with other kids. If you’re concerned about your child’s ability to make friends, talk to their teacher about how you can help facilitate this process. 


Additionally, a great way to get your child excited for school is by showing them other kids doing the same thing! Utilize the Instagram hashtag #firstdayofschool and show your child photos of other children smiling on their way to school! A great example photo of this can be found here; #firstdayofschool. Understanding that other children are doing the same thing and are excited to do so will be encouraging to your child!


Be proactive in preparing their education

After you’ve talked to your child about school, helped them feel more comfortable with the change, and aided their adjustment to the new environment, it’s time to start preparing for their education. You may have already met with their teacher, but make sure you and your child have a clear understanding of what they can expect at school. Explain the class schedule, what they’ll be learning, and why they’re doing each activity. Assure them that, while they will be learning new things every day, they won’t be expected to know everything right away. Make sure you both understand their homework schedule and any extra-curricular activities that your child is participating in. 


On another note, if you are seeking to prepare your child for a particular program, such as a competitive grammar school program in your area, you may want to invest in tutoring or online preparation programs. A great option for those in the United Kingdom looking to provide their children with not only a solid foundation, but also a competitive application for grammar school is Atom Learning. Atom Learning seeks to prepare children for grammar school by providing easily accessible, online preparation packages and exams. To learn more about Atom Learning and what they have to offer your child, browse Best 11 plus practice papers


Create a motivating yet supportive home environment

Once your child has adjusted to their new surroundings, it’s time to start creating a motivating environment at home. Talk to your child about the activities you want to do with them when they get home. Schedule family time, play with your kids, help them with their homework, and do whatever you can to make sure they feel supported and loved when they are home. Feeling supported and loved is a guaranteed way to make your child shine. 


Back to school can be an anxious time, for yourself and for your children, but even amidst the nerves, try to remember to enjoy every moment. I like to incorporate some excitement on the first day of school by capturing an annual photo! Check out our first day of school routine fun here:  Back to school 2021!

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