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Preparing our little ones for school

A year ago, I was preparing Lea for her very first day of school. Up until that point, she had been at home with me or with my mom when I was a work.
Once we had chosen her school, I prepared her by mentioning it to her each time we drove past the school. We played school school at home and each took turns being the teacher and the students.
When January came, I made her a calendar and put pictures of penguins on the days she would be at school. She was going to be in the Penguin Class 😊 We ticked off each day as the start of school got closer.
On the Monday, we went shopping for her lunch box goodies together and on the Tuesday we packed her Peppa Pig school bag together. Then we went on our special outing to The Glitter Factory to celebrate that Lea was starting school 💗 A bittersweet moment for her Mom 😊
On the morning of her first day, she said, “Has my day finally arrived?” She was so excited and was dressed and at our front door by 6am 😂
On the way to school, she said that she was a little nervous and I reassured her and told her that it’s okay to be nervous and to just be Lea because Lea is awesome 😊We reminded each other of the Daniel Tiger song, “Grown ups come back” 💗
When we arrived at school, her teacher came out and greeted us and welcomed Lea and off they went 😊 I cried all the way to my car 💗😂
When I fetched Lea, she told me every minute of her day and her teacher said that Lea had done very well. Only asking for me when she walked out into the playground and was overwhelmed by the noise and children 💗
Over the first two weeks, Lea did have moments where she said that she didn’t want to go to school or she was nervous. However, she did not cry when I left her at school nor did she cling to me. We chatted through it and by the third week, she was skipping or running into school 😊
Three things that I plan to do again this year in preparing Lea for school are:
1. Make a calendar and this time use Turtle pictures as she is in the Turtle class this year
2. Read “The Kissing Hand” this week. We love to kiss each other’s palms before she goes into school and the concept is that if we miss each other, we can just hold our kissed palms to our cheeks.
3. Play school school this week and remind Lea that “Grown ups come back” (the song from Daniel Tiger).
These strategies worked for Lea, they may not work for all children. I am a firm believer that if we are intentional in preparing our children for school that it will make the transition easier for them. Yes children do cry due to separation anxiety, however my thought is that if I can ease that anxiety just a little bit, Lea would feel much better about school and it worked well for us 😊
This pandemic brings a whole new dynamic and can cause further anxiety in our children in going back to school. Books and songs can assist our little ones in their emotions 💗