Transitioning children back to schooling can be overwhelming for both, your child and you. Creating new routines post the lockdown can be challenging and managing time can be tricky, especially when it comes to early years most of the children will be attending a preschool or an early care centre for the very first time.
I am dealing with the same situation as many parents sending my five year old off to a preschool, while she completed her first two early years through online/virtual class very conveniently with few hours of screen time answering and chatting to her class friends and teacher, who she has never met in person. This kept me thinking, how to support the little human getting back to normal schooling, so here are a few guidelines one can keep in mind and make the transition process easy.
Have a routine: Just like adults, children like to know their day. Following a routine at home helps them to channelize their activities for the day
Plan your days with the child: It's very important to involve your child in planning your day or a week so they are aware of events and time
Engage them in shopping for school supplies: Partner your child in shopping for school supplies, this is a fun activity and prepares the children to foresee the new experiences at school
Initiate positive goodbye: Separation anxiety is expected and challenging for the first few days of the settling period for the child at the school. Ensure you discuss and understand the settling process, drop off and pick up the policy of the school. Then you talk to your child about the school and who they will meet and how they can go about spending their day and assure them you will come back and pick them when the day is done
Discuss the safety policy followed at school/care centres: The school centre will be sharing safety policies to be followed during the schooling hours, ensure you explain and help your child to comply with all the safety and health policies of the school.
Prime times: Throughout the day, you will have small pockets of one on one time with your child, for example at bath, while picking and dropping off to school, mealtime, before bed, these are prime times. Make use of these prime times, to talk to your child and understand how they feel, celebrate their progress and support their differences.
Help them be independent: It's very important to nurture children to be independent to make an effort to do it by themselves this can be all their daily activities as simple as cleaning up their room or putting on shoes or carrying their own backpack. This will take time and the more they practise the better they get. Patience is the key.
Some fun family time: To relax and destructure is important, so plan some fun activities for the entire family to participate in during the weekend. Some fun family activities you can pick to do are cycling, fishing, trail walk or trekking, brunching, going to the beach, visiting the local park or a museum, swimming or playdate with friends and family.
The new normal is going to be different, adapting to change is the most possible solution.
Hope this helps you sail through the transition process with your child.
Josephine Kiran Raj