Getting kids ready for school in the morning isn't meant to be an Olympic sport, but it does get easier with some discipline and practice!
It’s good to try getting to school well before the bell so you can see that your child is settled before you leave.
By the end of the day your child will be tired and looking forward to getting home as soon as possible or perhaps to a friend's place to play. If parents are on time to pick them up, children feel more secure.
It's worth checking that your child has everything she needs before you leave for school in the morning, and before you come home at night. This can save on upsets at home and at school when your daughter can't find her special pencil box or favourite book.
Organising your children’s clothing the night before school can save a last-minute rush in the morning. You may also need to pack alternatives in case of weather changes.
Name labels mean your children won’t lose everything they own – only some things!
Spare underwear is also a good idea.
A healthy lunch and snack will help your child stay alert and meet her energy needs during the day.
A bottle of water is better for your child than fruit juice or cordial. See our article for tips on healthy lunch snacks and drinks.
If your child requires medication at school, you will need to authorise her teacher to administer it under strict guidelines.
If your child encounters any problems at school it’s best to speak to the teacher as soon as possible, whether by phone or in person, to prevent the issue getting worse.
Your child will need to know where she can play at school and which areas may be out of bounds. Most schools also have rules about wearing shoes, hats and sunscreen, as well as playground behaviour.
Schools often hold special events. These can be highlights of the school year for children. It’s a great idea to support these events by attending or helping your child prepare for them. Research also shows that it helps children do better at school if mums or dads support and attend these events.
If your child has additional needs
Meet with the principal before school begins to discuss any additional needs of your child. The school will look for ways to accommodate these needs.
Issues to discuss include:
- Does the school have experience with children with disabilities?
- What are the class sizes?
- How can the curriculum be modified to suit your child?
- What will your child do if she is unable to participate in certain activities?
- What times will your child need additional support?
- What supervision and security can the school provide, especially outside?
- How can the school support social interactions with other children?
Communication between school and parents
Your child’s education is a responsibility shared between you and your child’s school. Good communication between school and home will really improve your child’s experience.
There are lots of formal ways to make contact with the school, including:
- parent-teacher interviews
- information evenings
But you can just as easily pop in for a quick chat with your child’s teacher before or after school. You might want to check that the teacher is free first.
Kids can get upset if they’re late for an excursion or event, so it’s a good idea to check their bag for notes each day.
Let your school know if your child needs special attention at any time; for instance, if there have been problems at home, a death in the family or she has been sick. Likewise, if she has just won a competition or done well at karate, let the school know so they can encourage her.