How to Better Prepare My Child for the First Day at School?

Everyone is excited when mid-August arrives as the new school year is just around the corner. However, as a teacher with 15 years of experience, I understand that the process of adapting to school for children who are going to school for the first time can be challenging and sometimes nerve-wracking.

Our children also embark on their first steps to the school journey with joy, but the first one or two months can be a difficult time as they adjust to unfamiliar surroundings.

To help shorten the adaptation period and allow our children to experience all the happiness that school brings as soon as possible, I would like to provide tips that can help parents at home before the first day back to school.


Learn Some Survival English

If children are coming to an international school for the first time, it is essential to practise words related to their psychological and emotional needs and express how they feel in advance.

Think about it from this way: when we go on a trip to a foreign country, we prepare a few words and sentences to use in that country. It serves as a preparation for emergency situations, and practicing the language gives a sense of accomplishment when we use it in real life. You can imagine how important survival English is for children who are coming to school for the first time. Even if it is just a survival-level English, children who come prepared can show a noticeable difference in adapting to our school compared to those who do not have any preparation. 




Read English Storybooks at Home

During counseling sessions with parents, I always emphasize that learning English includes familiarizing oneself with the culture of English-speaking countries. I often notice that without emotional empathy, the second foreign language does not naturally lead to a fluent expression and application into a real situation. 

While the school provides many storybooks, reading various books at home with parents not only helps improve English skills, but also offers children the opportunity to experience a different culture. This can start even before children enter the international school and continue throughout their entire journey in the school.



Eat Independently at Home

At our school, children are encouraged to eat independently in DUCKS. We prepare dishes and utensils that fit into our children at their age, and we praise our children generously when they finish their meals on their own. As children's gross and fine motor skills improve, they spill less and less, which I believe is a sign that they are getting ready to write. If children can practise this important process at home before coming to school, the pride they feel at school will be huge and children will be really happy.



Do More to Encourage Children’s Independence

At our school, children are asked to perform various tasks related to daily life, such as washing hands, changing shoes, and changing clothes. Although adults provide a lot of assistance at the beginning of the school term, ultimately, our goal is that children will be able to do these tasks on their own.

Seeing the confident and happy faces of our children when they can complete simple tasks by themselves towards the end of the school term always touches my heart. The processes that adults perform without even thinking about it now are , actually learned from childhood through consideration and repetition by adults. Providing opportunities and encouragement for children to do things on their own at home can greatly help with their emotional and physical development.


Establish a Regular Daily Routine

Children's school life is highly structured and follows a regular schedule. They can predict what will happen next and experience a sense of stability, which forms the basis for acquiring knowledge and learning through their own understanding. Children who have lived without a regular routine at home often face difficulties in adapting to school life.

Establishing a habit of waking up early and living based on a predetermined pattern that aligns with the school's starting time is very important. It is one of the easiest tips to implement and practise. For families, creating a simple schedule and helping children to get used to it can be considered as the first step in the preparation process.

I hope that these recommendations and tips will be helpful for parents preparing their children for the first day of school. Wishing you and your child(ren) a smooth transition and a joyful experience in our school, and we look forward to seeing you soon next week!