When the time comes for your child to attend nursery school in Singapore, it can be a tossup as to who is more nervous about it – you or your child!
However, there are many ways which you can prepare your children for their first day of school, and it does not have to be as painful as you think.
The week before the first day of nursery school
Preparing for school should not come as a surprise to your children. School is a momentous step for them; for many children, it is their first time being in the care of anyone other than a family member.
Talk to your children often about what to expect in school. Get a copy of the school schedule from your children’s teachers and run through this with them so that they will not be blindsided by unexpected changes. You might even want to get your child’s daily routine to match up with the school’s – time their lunch hour and naptimes to synchronise with the school schedule.
Shop for school supplies with your children. Set aside some time to go out with them and let them have a hand in picking out the things they may need – a new water bottle, a snack box, or name labels for their items. When children are included and are part of the process, that sense of ownership will help them feel like they have some control, while having some fun and bonding with you.
The day before the first day of nursery school
Pack your children’s bags with them so that they know exactly what they have inside. Answer any last-minute questions they might have to relieve any bedtime worries. Reassure them that they will be picked up at the end of the school day by whomever you have planned to take on the task, be it yourself, your spouse, a grandparent, or helper. Run through the routine for the day once more and give them concrete details about pickup time to look forward to, such as “after naptime” or “after outdoor playtime”, since small children often have no concept of time.
Make sure that your children go to bed on time and are well-rested so that they will be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready for their first day of nursery. An early morning can be easily derailed by exhausted, grouchy children, so plan their bedtime to ensure they are able to wake up comfortably the next morning.
The first day of nursery school
The best start to the day is an unhurried one. Enjoy breakfast with your children and, if possible, accompany them to school. Plan to stay for a little while to soften the parting blow. Rest assured that your children’s teachers are more than well-equipped to take care of your little ones.
MindChamps PreSchool teachers, for example, undergo up to 200 hours of compulsory training and accreditation, regardless of previous qualification or experience. More than that, our teachers have loving hearts and open arms, ready to comfort your children and ease them gently into school.
Keep your tone positive and light as you say goodbye to your children. Try not to look sad and keep your farewell quick and easy. Resist the urge to re-enter the room if you hear your children start to cry – the first day of school is a big change and they will understandably be rattled by it.
Try not to prolong your children’s distress by sending mixed messages and returning to the room. You can contact their teachers by calling the school later on, or checking in on their progress via other means such as the school portal or mobile app.
Written by JoBeth Williams
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