5 Tips for Calming First-Grade Jitters
Starting first grade is hard, even for a kid who went to the same school for kindergarten last year. It’s been a whole summer since she was last in school, and a summer is almost a lifetime to a young child. Starting first grade is harder if your child has switched schools, and it’s even harder if the older kids have been telling horror stories.
Before school starts
1. Reassure your child. Remind her how much she liked kindergarten. Talk with her about specific projects that were fun, whether it was drawing pictures or writing her letters. Also mention specific kids that were good friends.
2. Visit the school. Walk around the school grounds. Even take your child inside, if you can — you might even call and see if the school is open for a tour. If anyone is in the school office, poke your head in the door and say hi. It’s reassuring for a child to see her mom relaxed and happy as she explores the school grounds.
3. Shop early. Get all your uniforms, school clothes, backpack, lunch carrier and school supplies early, and arrange them with your child so she knows where everything is. Also go for a haircut if necessary. Any kid will feel better about school if she knows she’s totally prepared and looking her best.
The first day of first grade
4. Go with her. On the first day, drive your child to school or walk her to the bus stop at the very least. Don’t go any farther onto the school grounds than the other parents do, though. She might feel that makes her stand out. Also be careful not to get too smoochy in public.
5. Make sure your child looks her best. A neat and well-groomed appearance will let her start the school year right. Make sure she knows that school is not just about how people look, but do send her off ready to succeed.