Routine is a key component in a child’s comfort level at school. They need to know where they will be and what they will be doing throughout the day, connect to at least one teacher, and have at least one child who will be their friend. When any of these components change, anxiety may be triggered. When they all change at once, which happens for children in a brand-new setting, anxiety will often occur. Parents will usually feel this anxiety along with their child, but it’s important for parents to model calmness and confidence that can help their child adjust more quickly to the new school year.
This is also a great time for parents to spend meaningful family time with their child outside of school. Going for walks, visiting a playground, or simply engaging in a fun game can help a child enjoy the present moment and not spend too much time focusing on the newness of the school year.
In addition to enjoyable at-home time, children benefit from seeing their parents relate to and enjoy the school setting, teachers, and administrators at drop off and pick up. When children see their parents connect, they build confidence that school is a good place to be.
Referencing a teacher at home helps a child have confidence that their teacher is familiar and appreciated by family members. ClassDoJo provides a valuable platform for parents to reference something positive that they read or observed in a photo. This home-to-school connection can help children feel confident that their parents are involved in daily school events.
Just as a school day routine is important to help students anticipate what to expect each day, a predictable after-school time is important for children to have fun with the family and to know that their parents are connected to their school.