Before we can even begin to teach your child, certain fundamental rules need to be in place. We need to prepare the environment for you the parent and your child. This preparation is based on these key areas.
Plan your part of the adjustment process. It can be just as heartbreaking for you, as your child, when you separate. Are you emotionally prepared? How is your child to going to react to the separation? Touch base with the Director or teachers before the actual enrollment date. Do a trial run and spend half an hour at the school, a few days before the official start date. Make contingency plans for work or other activities that you have planned if things become difficult on the first day or first few days. How will you handle this situation? Think about what foods to prepare and how it should be packaged. Talk to other parents for useful hints.
Have you completed all documentation for your child? Physicians Reports, vaccination cards, emergency contact information and other forms must be completed. The school will not admit your child if all paper work is not completed. You could be in for a big disappointment if you turn up without having completed all your paperwork. Review all documentation with the admissions administrator before the start date.
THE NIGHT BEFORE SCHOOL
Get your child involved in laying out his or her clothing for the school day. Pack a favorite toy or pacifier that might give your child some comfort. Take a picture of the family to hang in the child's cubby at school. A picture can give great comfort to a child.
THE DRIVE TO SCHOOL & WORK
How long does it take, to drive your child to school? Have you made adjustments for traffic and parking at that time? If you are working, how long does it take to get to work from the school? How long does it take you, to get to the school and pick up your child? Prepare Your Child Children may scream, cry or cling when you drop them off at preschool. This separation anxiety, which is quite normal, can in some cases create an extremely difficult situation for you, not to mention embarrassment. Don't be scared of this.
TRIAL VISIT TO THE SCHOOL
Do a trial run at the school, even for a few minutes. Keep calm. Don't panic. It is a natural part of your child's development and in time they will get used to it.
Another method is to practice saying good-bye. Get one of you relatives to look after your child. This trial separation will teach your child the concept of separation from you. Play a game of hide and seek. Subconsciously this helps your child grasp the concept of leaving and coming back.
INTRODUCTION TO TEACHERS
If your child is introduced to the teacher or Director of the school before the actual start date, it will give the child a familiar face to identify with. If you know one of the children at school, arrange a play date, so that your child can see and take comfort in a familiar face.
WHAT TO PACK FOR SCHOOL
Blanket Small Pillow (Optional) A warm jacket (Light one for summer) Lunch (100% Juice Only) Picture of Family, A Change of clothes 2 pants, 2 socks, 2 underwear Diapers & supplies (If not potty trained) Check fingernails are cut, Pack outstanding documentation.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT SCHOOL
Sign-In your child first on the sign in sheet posted on the notice board in the corridor. This is required by law. Place all material in the cubby marked with your child's name. Spend a few minutes with your child (no more than 5 minutes). Hand over the child to the teacher. Say a firm goodbye. Walk out without looking back even if your heart is bleeding tears. Do to show any tears or make a fuss which will make your child feel what you feel and start to cry. Trust us. Your child will start playing and interacting with other children within 5 minutes even if they did cry at the beginning.
THE GOODBYE ROUTINE
Saying Good-Bye can be one of the most difficult things for your child. They cling to you, cry, scream or cause a mini riot. The trick to an effective Good-Bye is to follow some simple steps. Always say Good-bye. Do not prolong the Good-bye. Never slip out without saying Good-bye. Tell your child exactly what time they will be picked up and follow through on the timing. If you think you might get late, tell them about that possibility. Give your child a kiss, a hug or a wave when leaving. After a few days you may discover that child's crying at your leaving only lasts a few minutes. Children get used to the process very quickly. But a consistent routine is the key to your success.
THE HELLO ROUTINE
After a hard day at work, parents can often be tired and irritated. The important thing is to put aside your problems and pay attention to the needs of your child. Follow a consistent pick up schedule, especially at the beginning. Children need to know that you will be back to pick them up at the time your promised. Some children will run into your arms, give you a hug and tell you about their day. Others will see you and carry on with an activity they have been doing. Give them a few minutes. Stand back a little bit. Pick up your child's lunch box and other materials they have using and firmly indicate that you will leave within a specified time period. After you get in the car, listen to your child. Most children want to tell you about what happened in their day. Also tell them about your day, in simple terms that they can understand. Kids want to know about your day too.