Congratulations on getting your little one to this exciting stage of life. I am sure you are filled with mixed emotions, I know I was last year when my firstborn was getting ready for Prep. I must say as we prepare for Year 1 I am less nervous but am feeling all the feels that my baby is growing so fast. If only we could freeze this stage of life forever.
I wanted to share some tips for preparing your little love to start school with a little more confidence and excitement, as well as some tips for once school starts.
- Aim to be home for the week, or at least a few days, before school starts. This allows your child to be well-rested when they begin school. The days will be very long and they need to be as rested as possible.
- This begins following a consistent bedtime routine. Prep aged children need to be in bed around 7.30 pm each night. Have a routine that fosters connection with your child and is around 30 minutes long. After a healthy dinner, bath and teeth, spend time reading with your child, doing yoga or a guided meditation. We have a bedtime playlist that our children listen to as they fall asleep. You can find it here – If it is ok feel free to link to our playlist featured on my FB site.
- Give plenty of opportunities for lunchbox practices. If your little one isn’t used to using a lunchbox give them plenty of chances to practice opening and closing, eating from it, and placing it back in the cooler bag.
- If your little one is a little shy chat with them about talking to the teachers when they are unsure. Sharing with them the exciting parts of their future school days. If they know a child in their class make some time for a playdate before school starts. Reassure them of your return each afternoon, where and when you will collect them from. Chat about a little treat you can do together after their first day of school. This will most likely need to be low key your little one will be fairly tired for the first few weeks.
- Remember school should be fun. If you had a bad experience try hard not to share this with your child. You will be surprised what they pick up, or already have. Be excited for the adventure they are starting.
- Talk about homework. Homework will start fairly early in the year. It won’t be huge and if you prepare them, by chatting about it not starting early, you can help them foster a love for learning. If they find homework too much chat with their teacher about this as soon as possible. Our goal as parents is to work closely with their teachers to make learning a positive experience. Prep is where we lay those foundations. When school starts:
- Prepare as much as possible the afternoon and night before. Help yourself and your child have an easy morning by setting up uniforms, breakfast, lunches the night before.
- Have a healthy breakfast each day. Sending our children to school with full bellies is a must. They will be more focused and content when they are full. Please avoid packages of sugar-filled breakfasts, these will have the opposite effect. Their blood sugar will spike and once it is time to learn they will be on an energy low. Healthy pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon and eggs, breakfast muffins, oats are all good options. If your child doesn’t like to eat in the mornings try and have them drink smoothies packed full of goodness. You can purchase superfood, plant-based powders that are great to lay the foundations of their day. Ensure these have no nasties. Encourage them to add extra veggies and even oats to fill them up.
- Reduce after school activity for at least the first term. Your little ones have many many years ahead to do all the sports, dancing and music lessons. They will most likely be very tired and emotional after school, especially at the start and end of each term. Give them space to relax and refresh after school without having to rush to other activities.
Enjoy this beautiful stage of life. If you are anything like me you will be filled with mixed emotions. Just remember to focus on the positive and excitement with your soon to be preppie!
Jacque Bruggemann is a former Primary School teacher who now has an Online Wellness Program designed to empower families to create their healthiest life. A mum of 3 Wildlings Jacque is passionate about providing families with resources, inspiration and advice to live consciously, while always staying real and raw.