Preparing Your Child for the First Day of School

Starting school is an exciting and anxious time for both your child and even for you. You can help to make the transition smoother by preparing your child and yourself for the beginning of school.

In the days leading up to the beginning of school help your child prepare for the changes that are about to occur by talking briefly, and in an upbeat manner, about what their daily routine is going to be like when school starts. The Typical Day page can be used to help explain what your child should expect in their new routine.

When the time comes to drop your child off for the first time (or first few times) it can be extremely hard for both you and your child to say goodbye. One way you can help your child ease into this transition is by being upbeat and brief at drop off time. Reassure your child by giving a quick hug and kiss, say a quick goodbye and tell them you will be back to pick them up when the school day is over. Then leave. This part can be very hard when your child pleads for one more hug or kiss, but the old adage "just rip the Band-Aid off" applies here.

Our teachers will comfort and then direct your child to begin the activities for the day. You are more than welcome to contact the school to hear about how your child is doing. More often than not, children are able to absorb themselves into the activities of the day within 15 minutes.

We have found some additional readings that may be helpful in preparing for the first day of school. The article, Off To School, provides some tips on how to get ready for the first day of school. Another article, Normalization in the Montessori Classroom, provides more tips on how to make the transition into the classroom environment.

The first thing to be done, therefore, is to discover the true nature of a child and then assist him in his normal development.

Maria Montessori