58 Answers

My first child is starting primary school next year. Just wondering if any mums had some helpful advice or tips? Thanks

Posted anonymously, 28th September 2014

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  • Pack a little surprise in their lunch box.

  • Our local school had initiation classes for kids starting school soon. Usually a couple of hours every Friday through November. This helped my kids immensely

  • If your school has a settleing program use it, my local school has just started in the last year where once a month from April you can take your child about to start to school for a hour and drop them off so they can get to know the students in their class and the teachers at that school. Not only that by the time they start the kids will know where the toliets are, the canteen is and where the office is and feel settled in that enviroment. Hopefully in that time they might make a friend, I gather in that time they assess the kids see who gets along together well and who will that extra little bit of help and it make the class planning of their class much easier. If your school doesnt do is i Would suggest you put in a suggestion so your future kids transition is so much eaier. My oldest son just had three sessions so he found the transition so much harder. but my daughter who strats next year will find it so much easier with 9 sessions.

  • No long goodbyes and make sure he sees your happy and that you will see him after.

  • i would start before the day getting all ready and looking forward to going,make it a happy occasion with no stress or tears on your behalf,even though its hard,i know.makeit sound some thing to look forward to. good luck.

  • Our son started school this year (NSW – Kindergarten) he has always been one to not like change and was a stickler for routine. The orientation days especially the first one was an absolute disaster I left him screaming (which tore my heart out). To ensure that he could be prepared for what was ahead these are the things I did:
    Drove past the school (it was a new school getting built) so it was interesting for him to look at the progress.
    I made up a book that we looked at every night – it had photos of him at orientation day, photos of the school being built, photos of his teacher and photos of the school uniform.
    Not applicable to you but the best book I found was ‘starting school’ and it told the story of six children and their experiences one boy was hanging onto his mummy leg and this allowed me to engage his thought about why the boy was do this – to try and talk about his fears as well.
    First day arrived and it went without a hitch – no tears (to say we were thrilled was an understatement)
    Good luck to you…

  • Quick goodbyes!

  • Such an emotional time. So much going through your head. Going through the child’s is not your memories of school. It’s a blank page. So think nerves and talk fresh and fun. Reassurance about who will pick them up and where.
    Take one day at a time with big hugs at start at end

  • dont hang around the school to long as the longer you are there the hard it is for your son to adjust, especially for the first few weeks, until he gets into a routine, its hard but weve all had to do it

  • I think one of the most important things to remember is to not let your child get over tired as it is a stressful time for a child and being over tired just exaggerates the stress. Good luck.

  • I am in the same boat, my eldest started prep this year too. I have found that involving her in most decision making around school has made it easiest. she really liked the school(and so did my partner and I) so she felt that she chose her school, chosen her lunch box, what lunch/ snacks she would like to eat, her shoes and art smock. Plus routine, find a routine that works for your family and stick to it. Works wonders with the transition to school.

  • Be organised but don’t stress! Get everything ready the night before each school day. If possible, have a separate shelf / drawer for school clothes so it is easy for them to find their school clothes. Don’t talk it up too much, but don’t let any of your fears show to the child either

  • I’ve been involving my son in all the important decisions, like picking a school bag and a lunch box and trying on his uniform to make sure it all fits and looks good. I’ve found he’s getting very excited and really looking forward to it. We talk every couple of days about all the great and exciting activities he’ll get to do and he’s just drawn a picture of his family for his teacher, that’s waiting in his school bag, to give to his teacher on the very first day of school.

  • Build it up to be awesome, don’t cry in front of your child on the first day and pack healthy lunches with little love notes!

  • Make it an exciting event to look forward to in the same way you would do if he was going to a friends birthday party. Have a count down on the calendar that he can cross off each day and start a school time routine for him at home ie- snack time when school has recess and lunch at the same time as school has. That helps kids to adjust to the new routine. Also let him pick out his pencil case, library bag etc to enhance his excitement By preparing him for what to expect and having a similar routine to school at home it will make the adjustment easier and less scary for him. If he’s really unsure then give him a special item from mummy to keep in his bag or pocket and let his teacher know so if he gets upset he has his lucky mummy charm to hold and comfort him. Some schools let mums sit in for part of the first day but I found that upsets kids too much. You can however volunteer for reading at some schools before school which may help your son. The biggest thing I found was that mums get more upset than kids do so make sure there’s no mummy tears until your away from the school. It’s ok for you to cry just not in front of your son as it’ll only upset him more. Finally don’t forget to reassure him you will be there after school to pick him up and make sure you’re there early and waiting outside his class. I have 5 kids and my youngest just started high school so be reassured it’s just as scary for us mums as it is for the kids. At the end of the day have a special treat together and let him share what he did at school. There will be ups and downs along the way but this was successful with all my kids. I also enlisted help from family members to get the kids used to spending the day away from me with someone else so that it wasn’t so scary being away from mum when they started school.
    You’ll both be fine and this is an exciting event for both of you. Just remember you will be the one with more tears than your little one so make sure you keep yourself busy as well.
    Good luck.

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