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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back To School...

Hard to believe September is here, let alone it is back to school for most students today! For our family, it is not necessarily "back" to school as this is Kai's first year of school...preschool that is! Cannot believe the time has come that our little man is going to school. He starts next week however,: so one more week to reminisce in his world of toddler...before school overtakes for the next 15+ years.

Time flies, as we all know; And while some days are wished away, others you want to hold on to. I am trying to hold on to these moments. As exhausting, and sometimes aggravating, as the toddler years can be, they go by way to fast and are over way to soon. Can I bundle up the love of a toddler: The way they look at the world: The way they look at life. It is awe-inspiring and over much too soon.

And so, as our 3 year-old gets packed up and ready for his first day of school next week, I thought fitting a blog on school and education.
I have posted in the past on school, as while we were seeking our best avenue for Kai, we investigated many schools and curriculum's.
There are so many different lines of education and what a school has to offer; let alone the teachers, the language and the other students. It is educational in itself just finding the right school for your family. And this is something that only you can determine best.

I was sent an article "Simple Steps Make the Kindergarten Transition Easier," and wanted to share it with you, as I found the points are simple, to come maybe obvious, but they really drive-home some great transition tips and help for your little ones. The title reads Kindergarten, when in fact it holds value for the pre-school, daycare and possibly even early grade children.
It was written by a lady by the name of Kathleen Thomas. Kathleen is a mother, and full time Communications Coordinator for the network of day care facilities belonging to the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose day care schools.  Primrose Schools are located in 16 states throughout the U.S. and are dedicated to delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum throughout their preschools.

Primrose schools are throughout the US. They are a Pre-K/junior Kindergarten type of school. To me, the closest sounding school to it is that of Cefa (Core Education and Fine Arts) here in Vancouver. 

Here is Kathleen's article.

Simple Steps Make the Kindergarten Transition Easier
By: Kathleen Thomas

Beginning Kindergarten or a day care program is an exciting and scary prospect for both parents and children. It is exciting to start a new chapter, but your child will likely be nervous and you will probably wonder if your child is really ready for this. Taking a few simple steps to prepare before the first day of Kindergarten will help make this transition easier for both you and your child. 

Establish Routines
If your child has never been in a school setting before and has basically had complete freedom leading up to starting Kindergarten; establishing routines is a very important preparation step. Even if your child has been in preschool or another daycare setting, establishing a new Kindergarten routine is important.

It is a good idea to establish both a morning routine and a bedtime routine for your child. A morning routine will ensure that your child knows what he or she needs to do in the morning and has time to get ready, eat breakfast and make it to school on time with everything he or she needs for the day. Making a morning routine poster for your child might be helpful.

A bedtime routine is just as important. Have your child pick out his or her clothes and check his or her backpack to make sure everything that will be needed the next day is ready. A bedtime routine will also help ensure that your child gets enough rest. It is difficult to wake up in the morning on time and to focus in school when a child has not gotten enough rest.

Prepare Together
Take actions to prepare your child for the changes that are coming. If your child is not used to being separated from you, start practicing separating at least a couple of months before school begins. If your child is not in daycare or preschool, begin leaving your child with a family member, friend or babysitter regularly so they become more comfortable with being away from you.

Arrange to take a tour of the school and if possible, meet your child’s teacher. Many schools have orientations and tours already scheduled, but if this is not the case for you, be sure to talk to the school and request a tour for you and your child. The first day of school will less scary for your child if he or she has already seen the school and possibly met the teacher.

Besides taking these actions, be sure to talk to your child about what will happen when school starts. Let them know what will happen at school and allow them to ask as many questions as they would like. Be sure to talk about school in an exciting and positive way so your child will develop positive feelings about attending school. Reading books can also help. There are many books available about starting school that can help explain to your child what school is all about in terms they will understand. One very fun book is called “How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?” by Jane Yolen.

Make it Fun
Play up all of the fun things about school when you talk about it with your child. Let them know they will make friends, play and learn all kinds of new things. Involve your child in shopping for school supplies and let them choose a backpack, lunchbox and perhaps a couple of other special items to bring to school with them. Your child might still be nervous, but talking about how great school is and allowing your child to pick some fun school supplies will likely create some excitement for school to start.

When School Starts
That first day of school you and your child will experience a range of emotions. Your child will be excited and possibly nervous, and they might not want you to leave. You will probably be feeling nervous and excited also, and if your child is upset it will be difficult to leave them there. But school is important and it is highly likely that your child will quickly discover that school is great and he or she will no longer have a problem with you leaving after those first few days. So say goodbye and leave, and feel confident knowing your child will be fine.
Be sure to pursue a positive relationship with your child’s teacher. You will want to keep in regular contact so that you can assist in the learning process by reinforcing concepts at home and giving extra help when your child needs it. Having a relationship with your child’s teacher will also make it easier to handle any problems that might arise.

The first day of Kindergarten will hopefully be the beginning of a long, successful educational journey. Nothing can change the fact that it is both exciting and a little scary, but preparing yourself and your child will help make starting school less stressful and more fun.


So a question for you parents out there already having sent your little one off to begin their school-hood adventures... what are your best words of advice? What helped you and what helped your children best?

For me, I am holding my breathe slightly. Hoping Kai will adapt well, play well with the other kids, and listen to his teachers better than he does myself or my husband!

I wish everyone out there a happy Back to School. I hope the transition in whatever phase your child is approaching goes as smoothly as possibly...for all parties involved!

And to depart with a quote that holds some value, to me at least ;)

"If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.  
~Edgar W. Howe"

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