Dispatching first-time schooler is really a tough and huge challenge for parents who will also have their first child in school. This piece is all about dealing with the problems encountered on the VERY first day of your child in school. How parents can be helpful with the children’s adjustment and some tips on school supplies , snacks and most especially communicating with your children the best way understandable to them making learning a great experience and that first school day motivating.
If you do not have much time reading this quite long article, just remember where you stopped and get back to it as soon as you have time again. You might lose some important info if you are short of time. Anyway all the articles are archived even the oldest one, just click “older posts” at the end of each topic you clicked-on shown on the right tool bar of this blog(Parenting, Tips, Current Issues etc.)
Talking to Your Child Makes a BIG Difference
Give her some briefing on what children do in school. Like saying something LIKE this…
-“You will just read, write and draw and even color, isn’t that exciting?!”
-Tell her the fun of learning. Remind her why children have to go to school. That she must not be afraid she does not know yet what they will be studying, tell her she is not the only one but all of her classmates. And that is the reason why they have a TEACHER –to teach them.
-That it is enjoyable to meet some new friends , her classmates. Remind though that only during “break time or recess”, she can chat or play with them.
Tell your child of the:
‘Do’s and Don’ts’ while in School
-There is a time to snack on and to chat or play with classmates that the school and the teacher would allow.
Children can not chew bubble gum or eat their snacks while not yet break time.
-Wait for the teacher’s instructions on what to do.
Teacher will say what she will need you to do, wait for her instruction when to get crayons, pad paper, notebook or pencil.
-Be sure to familiarize her with the school supplies she got so she will not get confused.
-Children must listen while the teacher speaks.
-When teacher asks something, she has to raise her hand and wait to be called to speak.
-And not be sad if she will not always be called. Tell her the value of giving others the chance to answer too. If your child did not know about this she will end-up frustrated if not being called to answer or became rude shouting-out answers instead of waiting to be called.
-She must not be afraid to try answering because teacher does not expect them to be correct all the time. Teachers are happy seeing she is interested to learn. Tell her too that teacher is happier to see attentive students than those who are just sitting on the chair till time of ‘class dismissal’ and you can even joke that it will spoil her saliva too with her mouth closed for a longer time, anyway it is partly true J
Parents’ MUST Do Tips:
Make sure that you will check on your children’s bag and take note of the following:
Check for assignment/homework (activities or book pages to read or answer written in each notebook). Be sure to have the teacher’s mobile number in case you child’s writing is not that readable, but mostly kindergarten teachers ask children to submit their notebook and her aides/assistants do the writing especially in the first months of school or she is just giving-out sticky notes adhered in the students’ notebook for assignments or ‘meeting schedules’. Still other teachers, fold the pages of the book to be read and answered with the pages encircled with a pencil. It is now your duty to find-out the teacher’s style. It is sometimes the parents’ shortcoming especially if their children are in early grade school, not to have accomplished their home works – we must be an extension of the school in helping our own children with their studies and this is one way to do that. Letting go is gradually till they are reasonably old enough to do it on their own.
Apart from labeling your child’s notebook with the ‘subject name’ , better number it too. Put as large as 1 ½ inch number wrting like English = 1…assign numbers (if teacher will not give her own list) for each subject so your child can easily recognize it when she cannot read the subject yet
- school supplies
Whether she still have her pencils or they went missing or they are not useable anymore because the lead part is broken (sharpen the pencils not too sharp, better scratch it on a hard paper -back of a pad paper to make the lead ‘rounded’ enough not to pierce the pad or notebook. Better provide your child a one or two ‘reserve’ sharpened pencils in case.
Do not forget to name each piece of crayons or pencils, because mostly your child and one or two or even more of her classmates use the same brand and it would be hard to recognize which belongs to whom. Especially when your child dropped it on the floor, yes the teacher will ask who lost a red crayon etc. but your child is sure not that meticulous to find out hers is missing. When it has a name on it, teacher can return it easily. This is important, you cannot buy crayons per piece of color but in set, you are not being practical buying ‘a box’ daily that is why it is important. I experienced that with my eldest when she is in the first grade – it took her a year learning to be ‘masinop’ – only in grade two. Losing school supplies especially during classes time will disappoint your child and make her feel FRUSTRATED of not having one when the teacher asks them to do something that needs that missing item. Children are vulnerable to inferiority attack due to humiliation.
Remind her too that pencils should be kept immediately after using, in the pencil case (its own house), not just dropping it in her bag – the bag will get dirty of it. Also the crayons have their own house too. Tell her something like this:
“Crayons will cry if you will not put them back with their family as well as the pencil.”.
Check if she still has an eraser. And it is VERY IMPORTANT to teach her how to use it too.
Teach her the right way to grip on his pencil, not to slack or too tight. Too tight might cause the paper to be punctured or the writing to be too dark, hard to erase when she had a mistake. Too lax may cause the pencil to slide and the writing too light to read.
At this age, your child will not be able to assess what is good for her and it will not be practical to teach her ‘spending’. Prepare snacks for her or bring her in the grocery to ask what she wants for school’s break time. Make sure, she will have sweet and plain crackers or bread. Sugar and starch (from bread, rice or biscuits will give her eergy because it has carbohydrates) It would be best to give her water for a drink (if we are going to think of the industrial sugar content of a commercialized beverage be it juices or chocolate added to the sugar content from the sweet snack she has, we must be WORRIED where are we taking their health.
Prefer baked not fried snacks (Churroz are fried, some potato snacks too). Choose bread over junk foods. If possible, make your own egg sandwich spread, peanut butter spread (you can top it with roasted plantain banana ‘saging na saba’. You can also make your own burger patties to avoid the preservative-packed ones bought prepared. Add some lettuce and semi-ripe tomatoes. Or if your child likes hotdog, buy hotdog buns and prepare it at home (steaming or cooking it with some water will be better).
I will never forget the incident (news) that around five or more children died eating ‘pancit’ they bought from a school canteen. It so happened that the cook mistakenly put ‘oxalic’ instead of salt! It happened here in a school here in my country. I am not saying this to scare you my momfriends, but better be careful and must give time to attend to your children’s snacking needs.
If you really want to give juice as your child’s snack, why not go for fresh fruit juices. You must have a juicer in your pantry. Expensive? NO , if you are going to buy fruits in season…you can also control sugar added, some fruits need no sugar anymore because they are sweet enough. There are fruits that can be mixed with milk or with water. You are the queen of your kitchen, experiment, combine fruits and even vegetables like carrots and cucumber with pineapple, mango etc. Since carrot is of bland taste it may go well with a lot of fruits, healthier juice! Cancer-fighting too aside from vitamins it has. Use a BLENDER/osterizer to hide the traces of carrot or fruit. Buy a lovable cartoon character tumbler and a straw for your child to be excited trying the drink. If you really want chocolate, find a dark chocolate (healthier option), mix with milk and just a little sugar. Always bring a separate water container. Most of the times, thirst is only quenched by water.
Dealing with Your Child’s Separation Anxiety
Tell your child that in school parents must stay away and come back just to fetch them when it is time to go home. Teachers do not like students always looking in the window to their parents while she is teaching – the students may miss an important lesson to learn too. However, do not forget to give your contact number and get the teacher’s too in case your child may turn-out to be implacable.
Convince your child more that children who still have their parents watching outside the classroom looks like a baby, being a grown-up boy or girl this is the last thing he may want to hear. It is humiliating too, classmates may make fun of a ‘baby’ coming to school.
If the child insist of having you around, be there where she can see you but far enough (meters away) to be called and be sure to keep yourself occupied with a reading material etc. , refrain from even glancing to your child, he might do some sign language of calling you to come near. Pretend as if you are not in there. That is just to assure her that you are just around and you did not leave her. Sooner, she will get used to it. After days or a week, try going to a nearby canteen or escape your way to go home to cook or do the chores then come back during break time if you want. Here goes some white lies that you just peed or do some call of nature when she happens to ask why you disappeared for some time.
I have children now that are seven and ten years old wherein I have used those techniques above, those were all tried and tested and I have proven helpful to both moms/parents and their school children. It all resulted to successful parenting in terms of my children became independent when in school and them maximizing the learning opportunities provided by a learning institution.
Modesty aside, I am always proud to say that my children are Quizzers representing their school especially my eldest who will be in grade six this school year. I do not have a degree in Child Psychology but modesty aside, my children are my walking advertisements and TROPHIES – meet them here LINK-------------
If your child will be enrolled next year take advantage of Pre-Summer Kindergarten Programs in your community (Iglesia ni Cristo has and it is available for non-members too just coordinate with the nearest chapel locale in your place NO FEES collected– the children receives Certificate from New Era University).
Thanks for your time reading this article and I really really hope too that this can be of help to you and most especially to your first –time schoolers. Kindergarten for me is A VERY IMPORTANT part where we instilling our children the value and love for education- seems to be the foremost foundation (apart from home, us, their first teachers)– this is especially true with parents who are both busy with their careers and just the nannies are attending to their every needs. Let us help their ‘first impression’ of going to school be likeable and thing to look forward too. Good luck to your child-rearing job. I will be happy to hear your comments, whatever they are.
This is an article written by a mom for moms around the world who are open to learning. I do not claim to be a Certified specialist in this field, experiences taught me a lot that I thought worth-sharing especially in the ‘Parenting’ aspect of my family’s life- again it MUST be SOMETHING because it is from the University of Life where we live…
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