Transition to school is a process that children go through only once in their life. However, to experience a smooth and seamless transition to school, a child would need adequate support from parents, caregivers and other loved ones. Here are 10 effective strategies for successful transition to school that you can use to help your children transition smoothly and seamlessly.
1. Plan & Prepare for the 1st Day
As a responsible parent, you should start planning and preparing for your child’s first day in school, in advance. Make time to do a preliminary assessment of the Early Learning Centre/Preschool, its distance from home, the environment, curriculum, the methods of teaching adopted, etc.
The planning and preparation, when followed up with proper execution, can go a long way in not only guaranteeing that your child will have a pleasant first day at school, it could also ensure that your child is eager and ready for the next and the subsequent days of school.
2. Practice the 1st Day
Practicing the first day of school is one of the highly effective strategies for successful transition to school, as it helps children transition successfully without any surprises. To start with, you have to take your child to the bus stop and wait for bus or drive to the school yourself.
You should also take a walk-through the school to familiarise your child to the surroundings. It is highly suggested that you also arrange for a meeting for your child with the teacher a day or two before the school starts.
You may also choose to ask the teachers and administrators about any suggestions they have for you to help in the transition process.
3. Communicate Effectively
After visiting the school with your child ahead of the first day, having an effective communication is another way how you can, as a parent, play a crucial role in easing out the transition.
Asking your child questions like “How happy are you about for your first day of school?” or “Is there something you are concerned about?” can give you a clear idea about how your child views the school and its personnel.
4. Make the 1st Day a Memorable Event
Since the 1st day at school is a once-in-a-lifetime event for your child, you can make it a memorable day by making a special breakfast and visit your parents or siblings after school.
You can also make this a once-in-a-week or fortnight affair, as this will help your child associate school as a happy and fun place rather than a visit that is part of a routine.
5. Help Make Friends
Encourage your child to make friends early in school. This will not only aid the shift to the early learning center/preschool but can also boost your child’s social skills. Being familiar with the (new) place and people makes your child feel comfortable with the new surroundings. Most of all, it can give your child a sense of belonging.
6. Help Choose School Supplies
Among the 10 strategies for successful transition to school being discussed here, this is possibly the most fun strategy that your child is likely to embrace the most. Stocking up on new school supplies by allowing your child to choose backpack, lunch boxes or clothes can help your child to feel much more confident and in control of their first day.
It’s a very psychological thing. You may also allow your child to carry from home a favorite toy, book, a favorite cup, or photographs of family and pets.
7. Give Time to Adjust
During transition to school, it is common for your child to become relatively very quiet or question everything as a reaction to a new environment. This is where you should exercise a lot of patience and give enough time to adjust, as it is just a matter of time when things will settle down.
8. Ensure Adequate Sleep & Nutrition
It is also common for the child to be very anxious due to the stress involved during the transition phase. This can easily be dealt with by ensuring that your child gets enough sleep and is given proper nutrition, as they can together have a positive affect the mood of the child.
9. Interact with Other Children and Their Parents
You should also try to make some time and take an active role in the school by interacting with your child’s friends and other parents. Over a few days of interactions, you will understand that you’re not the only person who is facing and going through the challenges of being the parent of a child going through the transition.
Chances are that you will find some parents who are dealing with the challenges in a very innovative and highly unexpected ways, so much so that they are dealing with the challenge almost like a normal event.
10. Be Actively Involved
Most importantly, as a parent, you should be actively involved with your child’s transition to school. One of the best ways to be involved is by asking your child after dinner to before bed time, to play back the day’s experiences in school. This will encourage them to share their experiences and has the potential to ease out their anxieties and prepare them for the next day with a fresh frame of mind.
As the famous saying goes: Knowing is different from doing. Knowing about the strategies is something anyone can do. What matters, however, is what you do about what you already know.
Ideally, you should adopt all the 10 strategies for successful transition to school, as they can indeed be highly effective for the transition. However, even if you adopt most if not all of them, you will still be successful in helping your child transition to school in a smooth and seamless manner.
Disclaimer: The content in this page and across this website are for informational and educational purposes only. In case of any concerns about your child’s growth and development, please contact your professional child healthcare provider.