First Day Of Preschool Survival Guide

by beagooddad on August 22, 2006

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We went to a preschool ice cream social at Pookie’s school last night. Everybody Kindergarten and above starts tomorrow. The kids know it.

While driving home, kids were running around the neighborhood everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. We just laughed when a flock of them would dash across the street in front of us.

“You’re going to school the day after tomorrow,” Beagoodmom sang at them. No more staying out late. No more running free all day. Time for sitting still and homework. Hope you enjoyed your 100 days of freedom.

Geetle starts school next Monday. Pookie starts a week later but Pookie went last year so he is an old pro. We have been working on getting Geetle excited. She is pretty excited and keeps hoping it starts tomorrow. I thought I would share some ways to help get your preschooler ready for school.

  • Talk it up. Don’t be shy about talking about it. No matter how much they might be afraid. Keep talking about how fun it will be, how much they will learn, and all the friends they will make. Make sure you mention how great their new teacher is going to be. Geetle went from nervous to anxious over a few days with constant reinforcement about how great things will be.
  • Get something special. Sure, they get new clothes and a new bookbag, but everybody gets those. Let your kid pick one special thing that they can take to school with them on the first day. I’m not talking about a new TV or a pony. Something that can stay in their bookbag most of the day. Maybe a stuffed animal or a new book. Maybe something special they can wear like a cool t-shirt or shoes that light up that they get to pick out themselves.
  • Play pretend school. We did this one a lot when Pookie started school. I need to remember to do more of this with Geetle the rest of the week. Set up a desk. Let them call you Mr. Teacher. Geetle calls me Mr. Daddy Ratburn when we play school. Let them color. Read stories. Cut with scissors and glue stuff to paper. It does not matter. Anything you can do at a desk will count as a school activity in their mind. Geetle and Pookie both like the preschool workbooks that you can get for a few bucks each at the bookstore. Do not overdue it. When they get squirmy and want to wander away, then play school should be over.
  • Take them to school. Let them play on the playground. If possible let them walk in the hallway and classroom. Show them where the toys and bathroom are. I think one of the scariest parts of going to a new school is not knowing what the school building actually looks like.
  • Meet the teacher. Try to find a way to meet the teacher before school starts. The other scary part of school is the fear of the evil teacher. If they see a smiling face beforehand, they will not be nearly as afraid to walk into the classroom on the first day.
  • Tell them stories about when you went to school. Don’t tell them about the time a teacher hit you. Focus on the good stuff. If you can’t think of any, make some up.
  • Make a special breakfast. One of my favorite memories of the first day of school as a kid is the special breakfast. My mom would go all out. Waffles, bacon, sausage, toast. How can you have a bad day when you start out with that kind of a meal?
  • Get in get out. If you are dropping your kid off, do not stay longer than you should. Make sure they get in the classroom. Make sure they meet the teacher. Make sure you hug them, kiss them, and high five them. Then tell them you will pick them up when class is over and leave. If they are going to protest, they will protest however long it takes you to leave plus five minutes. Then they will calm down and start their year of school.
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