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Your Child's First Day Of School

Updated on June 23, 2014
Joanna14 profile image

Christine, a wife, mother and homemaker for over 30 years, has an NVQ3 in Childcare & Education & loves cooking, music, health & nutrition.

Is your child starting school?

The first day of school is a huge event in a child's life. They go from being your baby and toddler at your side, to stepping out into the big world for the better part of the day without you. Of course, playschool or kindergarten help to prepare them for this, but there they find little pressure, compared to the school schedule of targets, achievements and competition. At school, quite a bit is expected of them and a whole new world opens up to them as they learn to read, write and do maths. Gradually they can read signs or notes for themselves and can occupy themselves better, making them that much more independant from their parents.

Maybe you remember that first day at school, trying to be brave as your mother or father walked away and left you in the care of someone you hardly knew. It might have been a very exciting time and maybe a little daunting too. Little things might have worried you, like where would you hang your coat, would you be able to manage getting changed for P.E. and would you know where to go for lunch. You might have felt alone and not sure who your friends were and bewildered at the scale of the large school building and all the many people rushing around within it. After a few hours it might have felt like you should have been going home, yet the day goes on and on. You hang in there, trying to be patient and strong, until eventually you see your mother waiting for you at the school gate and you run into her arms relieved that she hadn't forgotten you and you could go home at last.

Here are some thoughts and tips to remind you of the things to watch out for so that you are prepared and those first few days start off on the right foot, setting you on course for a positive school life ahead for you and your child.

Photo taken when our fourth son was starting school

My Experience Of Starting School - Can you remember your first day of school?

I remember on my first day of school feeling distressed at break time when I wasn't allowed to go to my older sister who was in the other playground and then how upset I was at the confusion with my dinner money. Apart from these two events, I don't really remember my first days at school. This has helped me to see the importance of providing good memories of school, so that education becomes a positive experience in a child's life throughout the years, even helping them to want to go on to university. Learning is an ever-important factor in moving on and progressing in life, throughout the adult years too, but this can be damaged if a child is left with unresolved problems with school early on.

Was your first day of school a good or bad memory for you?

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Learning Communication
Learning Communication

Nurture Good Communication With Child And Teacher

Talk positively about starting school

Make regular time to talk with your child, giving them eye contact without distractions. It doesn't have to take up more time in your day, make use of family meal times around the table or when you put them to bed. Or give them a treat every now and then and take them out for a drink where you can chat. Talk positively about school, without voicing your own fears and worries, so that they can look forward to it.

The more you do this, the better you will be able to understand what your child is experiencing whilst they are away from you and your child will get used to speaking to adults, so that they can do so with their teachers when they need to. On the other hand, don't pressurize them in giving you long explanations about things that they might find hard to put into words, especially whilst they are tired at the end of the day. Wait until you are both relaxed. Once starting school, make good use of every parent evening to keep up good communication with their teachers. It really helps teachers knowing that you take an interest in your child's education and are working with them and doing the best for the child. Get them on your side and they are more likely to make an effort in understanding your child and communicating with you as soon as they sense a problem, so that it can be nipped in the bud before doing any lasting damage. By working together with teachers you can agree to tackle any of your child's problems by complimenting whatever the other is doing.

Photo lensmasters own

The Value Of Mental Focus

Improving concentration

Teach Your Child The Value Of Sitting Still For Short Periods Of Time

Children who master this have a far greater chance of progressing with their education. Sitting still doesn't include in front of the TV, but doing a task that requires them to actively think and focus. A young child should only be required to do this for short periods of time. Reward them with something physical afterwards, such as playing in the garden or going to the park. If they find this particuarly hard, it will help if the requirement in sitting still involves you playing a game with them, so that you can guide them through keeping focussed. For older children, chess is a great game to build up their concentration and stamina. Other games that are great for this include this one here:

We now know that proper diet plays a huge role in their ability to do this, so you can help your child by teaching them to eat healthy food- yes- this is something they need to learn as well! If they have a good appetite for healthy food, school dinners will also be more enjoyable. More below:

"Secrets Of Healthy Eating For Kids"
Is your child a fussy eater who shows little interest in healthy eating? This site will help you to find ways of getting your child to eat well, not by forci...

A Child's Response To A Science Question

When you breathe, you inspire. When you do not breathe, you expire."

Make A Plan With Your Child

It's not just about school work!

Make sure that they know what their daily routine is going to be. Sit down and plan it together, so that they can voice their ideas and concerns. Give them plenty of warning, remembering that they might be quite tired to begin with as they get used to their new schedule. Now is the time to ensure that they get plenty of sleep. If you are stressed, they will pick this up too and fear of not being able to keep up will wear you out. Use a daily plan that helps you think ahead to provide plenty of rest, healthy eating, fresh air and exercise as well as work. For more tips on this, see below:

"The Healthy Living Daily Plan"
Welcome to my 8 Step Healthy Living Daily Plan. Here is my plan to keep life focused, exciting and healthy. It's so easy to get lost in the stresses and busy...

It's Time To Buy A Kids Clock - To Teach Them The Time

This could be a great time to teach your child to tell the time so that they know when they need to do certain tasks in their day. Buy them a clock and a child's watch could be a reward for learning the time. Make a clock together using a round paper plate where they can turn the hands to the time they are aiming for and look at the real clock to compare when the time is up. .

Make Goals With Star Charts

Take the pressure off and make it fun!

Your child will have been thrown into a world of meeting targets and performing, whether in relation to school work and keeping up with curriculums or getting up in the morning and getting himself ready on time. He might not understand why it is so important, but with the aid of a star chart, he will be able to better focus and remember what needs to be done each day. A small reward at the end of a week or so will make him feel good about it all and give him something to look forward to.

The Huge Benefits Of Using A Star Chart
One of the best tools for raising children who will grow into responsible adults is a star chart. After all, children have so much to learn and achieve in li...

Create A Learning Environment In The Home

Lead by example

Children learn best by example. You can inspire your child and lead the way if you yourself value learning. Does your child regularly see you reading a book or studying something of interest? Do you show enthusiasm in being creative (cooking, art, crafts, gardening etc.) rather than everything just being a chore? If you want your child to apply himself at school, you can best help him by showing how you do this at home. He will find it more natural to do the same. Teach your child basic skills in a fun and natural way with these tips and resources:

"Secrets Of Enthusiastic Learning Through Play"
WELCOME to the site where we recognise the importance of learning through play for a child's development. But what do you want your child to learn? Does it s...

Provide a quiet corner in your home where there are no distractions for your child to sit and write, read or do homework.

Respect Others

A hard question- but does your child do this?

Your child will find school very difficult if they have not first learned to respect others, both teachers and other pupils. This is not something that should wait for the teacher to sort out, but needs to be learned in the home where the child already feels loved and accepted. If the child doesn't have to struggle with getting on with other people, they will be able to concentrate on what they are there for- to learn and will have a much happier time doing so, making new friends easily. Easier said than done? Is your child a specially difficult case? Look here for more help:

"Help For Parents! Discover How Your Child's Behaviour Can Change"
Are you struggling with your child's behaviour? It can be quite a shock to realise that despite your conscientious parenting, you have child behaviour proble...

Make Starting School Special With A School Cone (Tute) - In German Style

In Germany, every child will be given a large, colourful cone which they have often made at Kindergarten before they leave. The night before the big day, their parents will fill the cone with useful school equipment as well as a few treats. They will then be taken with them on their first morning at their new school, where they open them together, amid much excitement.

What To Put In Your Child's School Cone - For their first day of school

Here are some ideas to get you started. Which ones you are going to buy?

Iwako Japanese Puzzle Take Apart Erasers Zoo Animals Set of 7
Iwako Japanese Puzzle Take Apart Erasers Zoo Animals Set of 7

Erasers can be fun and cute with this animal set!


Prince William...

Buy This at

Not sure what to buy? Whether your child needs to wear their own clothes or a school uniform, they will feel better about themselves if they have a new set of school clothes to begin a new phase. Find out what they are expected to wear. Have a day together getting together what they need and allow them to contribute in choosing, so that they can take pride in themselves and feel as if they belong with their peers. More here:

The Top 10 Must Have Items Of School Uniform
Welcome parents to the school uniform site! When the big day arrives, every child wants to look their best! Ensuring that they are equipped and comfortably d...

Is your child starting school? I hope this lens provides some helpful information.

The First Day Of School Guest Book - Please leave your comments

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    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Not yet, she's 2, but I somehow recall my first day. I really missed my parents when they left, lol.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Take a bunch of pictures! It all goes so quickly.

    • JadeHandmade profile image

      JadeHandmade 5 years ago

      I like that idea of a cone for the first day!