No matter whether you’re new to a city or you’re settled into the community, the back-to-school season is often a nerve-racking time for parents and young children alike. Adjusting to a new school-year routine can be a weeks-long challenge – but add moving to a new school or child care provider, and the change can become even tougher. Fortunately, if you’re faced with moving to a new home during this time, there are steps you can take to help make the transition easier for your child and the whole family.
Whether you are preparing for your child to start at a new school or are still adjusting to a new routine, the following tips can help reduce your little one’s new school jitters:
Read about it with your child. It is often the anticipation of the unknown that makes children anxious about going to a new school or classroom. Reading about it gives children an opportunity to imagine their own experience and share their fears. The following books can help your little one express how they feel, or might feel when school starts:
“When Mommy and Daddy Go to Work“ by Joanna Cole
“First Day“ by Joan Rankin
“The Kissing Hand“ by Audrey Penn
“Don’t Go“ by Jane Breskin Zalben
Establish a daily routine that fits your family’s school-year schedule and try to stick to it. Children need the predictability and comfort of routines. Create and stick to a weekday morning routine. If your child hasn’t started at the new school yet, start implementing the routine at least two weeks before the first day of school.
Nighttime routines are important, too. The whole family can help make school day mornings easier by taking care of tasks the night before. Try making it a habit to pack book bags, complete homework and pick out the next day’s clothes in the evening to avoid morning mayhem.
Say a quick goodbye and promise to come back. When dropping your child off at school, give a quick hug and kiss, cheerfully say goodbye, and promise to return later. When you linger, you undermine your child’s confidence that you feel good about where you are leaving her.
Establish a partnership with your child’s teacher. Children look to their parents’ behavior for emotional cues. The more comfortable you are with your child’s teacher, the more comfortable your child will be. Over the first few weeks of school, regularly touch base with your child’s teacher about how he is adjusting. The more visible you can make the connection between home and school, the more secure your child will feel.
Primrose schools in the metro-Atlanta area offer year-round, full and part-time programs for children from 6 weeks old through pre-K, with select schools offering kindergarten and before and after-school programs as well as summer camps for school-age children. The Primrose Balanced Learning® approach nurtures children’s intellectual, creative, physical and social-emotional development through a balance of purposeful play and nurturing guidance from teachers. Nearly 5,500 children are currently enrolled at Primrose schools in Atlanta. To learn more about the 38 schools in the Atlanta metro area, visit primroseschools.com/atlanta.
Requirements to Enroll in Georgia’s Pre-K
- Proof that a child is age eligible and is a Georgia resident: Acceptable proof-of-age includes a birth certificate, passport, hospital record of live birth, green card, pink card or Federal I-94 card. Acceptable proof-of-residency includes a lease, utility bill or letter from a shelter or employer.
- All children enrolled in Georgia’s Pre-K program must have hearing, vision and dental examination certificates (DHR Form 3300) on file within 90 calendar days of program entry. Form 3300 must be signed by a private practitioner or representative of a local department of health.
- Immunizations (DHR Form 3231) must be up to date or affidavits must be on file within 30 calendar days of program entry. Only health departments and physicians licensed in Georgia can obtain blank immunization certificates (Form 3231). Take your child’s personal immunization record to a health department or Georgia physician and they can complete the form and give any required vaccines.
Source: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning