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Helping Kids Prepare for the Back to School Transition

Helping Kids Prepare for the Back to School Transition

Helping Kids Prepare for the Back to School Transition

As a parent, the run-up to the new school year can be a daunting time. I often feel a little anxious about how my children will adjust to their new environment and whether they will meet the new expectations while remaining happy and socially blossoming. That’s a lot to worry about! Over my years as a parent and a preschool educator myself, I have picked up some great tips that have helped my children make smooth and successful transitions academically and socially. In this blog, I will do my best to share them with you, but always remember what works for one child might not for another. You know your child best, so trust your gut and support them as best you can.


Communication is Key!

I’ve always tried to be as open as possible with my children. It can be hard for them to grasp the idea that they leave their friends behind to move to a new class or school. Talk about what will happen with them. Give them ample time to process the information and most definitely provide opportunities for them to ask questions. What we worry about as parents will likely not even register on their radars. Our children may actually be getting anxious about something we haven’t considered. Ask them how they are feeling about different aspects of the changes and answer any questions they have. It can also be beneficial to let them meet up with someone who has just finished that grade or perhaps their first year at the school. This makes the situation far more relatable for your child, and they might feel more comfortable asking questions to a peer than their parents or school staff.

Visit the School Playground

If your child is starting a new school or moving up to Elementary School from Preschool, I highly recommend visiting the school playground several times over the summer break. This is a great way to help build a sense of familiarity and run the possibility of bumping into someone else who attends the school. This was actually how my son made his first Kindergarten friend, and they are still best buds moving into 3rd grade!

Reach Out to the Teacher

This was one of the best pieces of advice I was given as a parent. My son’s pre-k teacher told me to email his new Kindergarten teacher over the summer just to introduce myself and let her know a little bit about my child. I followed the advice and, sure enough, got a lovely response from his new teacher saying how much she appreciated getting to know a little more about my son. This automatically put me at ease as a parent and led to open communication throughout his Kindergarten year. It also gave his teacher an idea of his interests which helped them connect in the first week of school. This was such a valuable piece of advice!

What About the Academics?

A significant source of worry for parents often needs to ensure that their child is academically prepared for their new school year. The one piece of advice I hear on repeat from educators is read, read, read!!! Local libraries tend to run great summer reading programs for free, including recommended book lists according to grade level. Try to work with your child to enjoy a few books from the grade level they will be entering, as this creates an excellent connection between home and school learning. You can also provide plenty of fun hands-on learning opportunities at home for both literacy and numeracy. I try to add letters and numbers to our creative and sensory play to keep those skills ticking over throughout the summer.

Get into a Routine in Good Time

The final tip is more of a practical one, but it does make a difference. It can be a shock to the system to go from lazy summer holiday routines to the tight schedules of school days. A week or two before school starts, try to adjust your family’s routine to a more realistic school-friendly one. This will help everyone to feel well-rested and ready to face the beginning of the school year.

Do you have any great tips to help with readiness for the new school year? We would love to hear them.


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