Whether you’re getting a kindergartener ready for their first day of school or setting up an older child for their first day at a new school, it’s an exciting and challenging time. Here are a few ways you can better prepare:
See the Dentist
There are several ways seeing the dentist gets your child ready for school. A visit to the hygienist will literally brighten their smile. Getting fillings done and other issues resolved will make them feel more comfortable and eliminate the need to miss school for appointments and procedures later on. That’s why it’s a good idea to sign up for dental insurance as your child approaches school age. Private health insurance will cover dental costs Medicare won’t, and it will provide coverage when you go over the limits. For example, most public dental plans provide a capped amount of cover for a two-year period. Go over that amount in the first year, and anything done in year two must be paid for out of pocket. Private dental cover will also allow you to see almost any dentist in a timely manner, compared to Medicare, which often comes with a waitlist.
You can also reduce the stress of a new school, by getting your child familiar with the school environment. This means taking your child to orientation, regardless of their age. Walk around the school if you can. Practice the route to and from school if your child will be walking there. Otherwise, let your child know where you’re going to pick them up. Better yet, take them there so they know where it is.
Consider meeting up with other families attending the same school. If your child knows several other kids there, it won’t be so difficult. If you know other parents, you’ll have other people to discuss concerns with or get information from. If the school has a transition program, make sure your child is there to attend it. Try to meet the teacher too. If your child is going to attend an after-school program, discuss how they’ll get there and what to do if they miss their ride.
Set Up a Routine
Map out a routine so you have a system in place when school starts. Buy their school uniform before their first day. Make sure their shoes fit. Have a general discussion of school rules too. Pick out lunch boxes and backpacks, and organise everything so that it’s ready to go. Have a place for everything, so you and your child know where everything is. Determine a bedtime everyone agrees on and get in the habit of going to bed well before school starts. Practice getting up in time for school too. This helps your children get enough rest without being late.