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Have a little one starting school next year? haven sat down with the education gurus at King’s Christian College to ask their tips to help you and your mini prepare for this adventure over the next couple of months.

Start getting into a routine
The school day can seem very long for Preppies. They will need a good night’s sleep (aim for 11-12 hours), a decent breakfast and healthy snacks and lunch to help them get through their school day. Now is the time to establish early bedtimes and practice getting your child up at the time they will need to rise on a school day. Get them used to eating a good breakfast, morning tea and lunch at regular times rather than snacking throughout the day. 

Prepare them mentally and emotionally
Check off the days to school on a calendar with your child and count the number of sleeps till their big day. Talk to your child about their expectations – their excitement and their concerns. Be positive and encouraging. Read books about starting school (try ‘Starting School’ by Janet and Allen Ahlberg or ‘I Am Too Absolutely Small For School’ by Lauren Child).

Practice with their uniform and bag
Buttons, laces, socks and other fiddly bits can be quite a challenge for little ones so spend some time letting them practice dressing (and undressing) themselves in their school uniform. Ensure they can go to the toilet independently in their unfamiliar new clothes. Kids who are used to running around in sandals or thongs, may find a full day in socks and shoes a strange and uncomfortable experience so make sure they spend some time wearing them around the house to adjust.  Have fun packing the school bag, play with lunch boxes and containers – practice taking off lids and putting them on again, go for a walk with the bag on – so that your child gets used to carrying it.

Visit the school
Drive/walk to the school with your child to familiarise them with what will be their daily journey. Show them where they will enter and where you will pick them up. Check how long it takes you to travel to the school (appreciating that you will have to allow extra time for traffic on a school day).

On the big day
Ensure your child has gone to bed early the night before. Have uniform, hat and bag ready. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and extra time for travel – school traffic is always busiest on the first day of school. Give your child a good breakfast. Accompany your child to their classroom, introduce yourself to the teacher, see where your child is sitting. Be positive and enthusiastic. Hug your child, kiss them goodbye and LEAVE. Some children will get upset and experience separation anxiety but it is important not to linger and make the situation more difficult. Don’t forget your camera!

Discover the 30 skills your child needs before starting Prep with King’s Christian College’s FREE downloadable booklet.

www.kingscollege.qld.edu.au

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haven  

haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.